Loblolly Pine, an Important Tree in North America

Pinus taeda, a Top 100 Common Tree in North America

Loblolly pine is the most commercially important pine of the Southeast where it is dominant on approximately 29 million acres and makes up over one-half the standing pine volume. This pine cannot survive the occasional severe winters of USDA zone 5 but has a solid hold on most of the southern forest. It is the most common plantation pine in the southern forest but has a problem with fusiform rust disease (Cronartium quercuum).

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The Silviculture of Loblolly Pine

loblolly tree
Talladega National Forest, Alabama. (Chris Hartman/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0)

Natural loblolly pine stands, as well as intensively managed plantations, provide habitat for a variety of game and nongame wildlife species. The primary game species that inhabit pine and pine-hardwood forests include white-tailed deer, gray and fox squirrel, bobwhite quail, wild turkey, mourning doves, and rabbits. In urban forestry, loblolly pines often are used as shade trees and for wind and noise barriers throughout the South. They also have been used extensively for soil stabilization and control of areas subject to severe surface erosion and gullying. Loblolly pine provides rapid growth and site occupancy and good litter production for these purposes

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The Images of Loblolly Pine

loblolly tree female cones
Female cones. (Marcus Q/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Forestryimages.org provides several images of parts of loblolly pine. The tree is a conifer and the lineal taxonomy is Pinopsida > Pinales > Pinaceae > Pinus taeda. Loblolly pine pine is also commonly called Arkansas pine, North Carolina pine, and oldfield pine.

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The Range of Loblolly Pine

Natural distribution map for the loblolly pine tree
Natural distribution map for Pinus taeda. (Elbert L. Little, Jr./U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Wikimedia Commons)

The native range of loblolly pine extends through 14 States from southern New Jersey south to central Florida and west to eastern Texas. It includes the Atlantic Plain, the Piedmont Plateau, and the southern extremities of the Cumberland Plateau, the Highland Rim, and the Valley and Ridge Provinces of the Appalachian Highlands.

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Fire Effects on Loblolly Pine

forest fire
(Mint Images - Frans Lanting/Getty Images)

Loblolly pines less than 5 feet tall are usually killed by light fire. Saplings up to 2 inches in diameter are usually killed by moderate-severity fire, and trees up to 4 inches in diameter are usually killed by high-severity fire.

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Nix, Steve. "Loblolly Pine, an Important Tree in North America." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/loblolly-pine-important-tree-north-america-1342788. Nix, Steve. (2023, April 5). Loblolly Pine, an Important Tree in North America. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/loblolly-pine-important-tree-north-america-1342788 Nix, Steve. "Loblolly Pine, an Important Tree in North America." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/loblolly-pine-important-tree-north-america-1342788 (accessed May 30, 2023).