COMMON NAME: LOBLOLLY PINE, OLD FIELD PINE
Pinus taeda (PIE-nus TIE-dah)
Pineaceae (Pine Family)
HEIGHT: 80 to 100 feet
SPREAD: 20 to 30 feet
FINAL SPACING: 20 to 30 feet
NATURAL HABITAT AND PREFERRED SITE: Loblolly pine is the most numerous pine in Texas. It is found throughout the piney woods and the far eastern side of the state. It grows in low areas primarily but adapts to more well-drained sites quite well.
IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION: Loblolly is the fastest growing of all the southern pines. It even outgrows the slash pine. Because of its rapid growth, it is the most widely planted pine in Texas for timber purposes.
FLOWERS AND FRUIT: Male flowers are yellowish about one inch long arranged in spiral clusters at the end of the branches. Female flowers are yellowish about ½ inch long at the branch tips. Cones are approximately 2 to 6 inches long, light reddish- brown ripening in the fall. Scales on the cones are only occasionally armed and are reddish brown.
BARK: Scaly and nearly black when young becoming reddish brown with age.
FOLIAGE: Needles are almost always in groups of 3, 5 to 9 inches long, light to medium green.
CULTURE: Extremely fast growing, easy to grow in acid, sandy soils. It does not do well at all in alkaline soils, especially white rock. It responds to fertilizer although over fertilization and use of pesticides is the cause of the typical pine tree pest problems.
PROBLEMS: Fusarium gall rust, southern pine beetle, ice storm damage.
PROPAGATION: Propagation is done from seed.
INSIGHT: Loblolly is widely planted and one of the most important timber trees in Texas. The name refers to mud holes because of its ability to grow in wetter soils. Other pines in this category include slash pine, Pinus elliottii, which is a native of the southeastern states. Also often planted commercially in Texas, It closely resembles loblolly pines but differs by having glossy brown cones on short stalks. The cone scales are armed with curved spines. Short leaf pine or yellow pine is Pinus echinata, long leaf pine is Pinus palustris. Aleppo pine, Pinus halepensis, is one of the most commonly used pines in the Houston area. It will suffer freeze damage in the northern part of the state.