Evergreen coniferous tree to 35 m (110 ft) tall and 90 cm (3 ft) diameter with long straight trunk and dense rounded crown. Bark blackish and scaly on small trees to bright red-brown on large old trees, with large flat scaly plates. Twigs moderately thin, rough, yellow-brown to red-brown. Buds red-brown, resinous, about 1.3 cm (0.5 in) long. Leaves needle-like, usually three but rarely two in a bundle, 15-23 cm (6-9 in) long, persistent for about 3 years, basal sheath persistent. Cones oblong-conic, 6-15 cm (2.5-6 in) long with thin scales and sharp strong prickles, brown, opening at maturity.
Distribution: Native to the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, westward to east Texas and southeastern Oklahoma.
Habitat: The species originally occurred in wet bottomlands, but it is an aggressive invader of cutover areas and abandoned farmland.
NWI status: FACU
Comment: An important timber tree, marketed as "southern yellow pine". Loblolly pine in Oklahoma was originally limited to a small area in southeastern McCurtain County, but it has been widely planted and now has reproducing populations as far away as Cleveland and Muskogee Counties. Pinus is the ancient Latin name for the pines; taeda refers to the resinous wood.
Distribution in Oklahoma:
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Last update: 9/15/99
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