Longleaf Pine

Common name(s): Longleaf Pine

Scientific name: Pinus palustris

Plant family: PINACEAE


Description: A tall, single trunk pine tree with spreading crow as it ages. Leaves: needles with up to 18 inches long. Produces cones: Male cone small and slender with pollen. Female cone: Large, scales, producing winged seeds up to 6 – 12 inches. Longleaf pine was the dominant pine found in open pine forest in the South. Growing from Virginia to Central Florida to west Mississippi

Growing Conditions: Soil should be sandy-clay sand with not much leaf litter. Ph range 6.0 – 7.0. Grows in full sun, well drained and open areas. One of the longest lived pines in the South. Life span may range up to 200 years. Hardiness Zone: 7 – 10.

Wildlife: With restoration of conservation areas with Longleaf Pine habitat, a variety of endangered wildlife may be found to reside: Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Indigo Snake, Gopher Tortoise, Venus Fly Trap, endangered native orchids. Best place to see restore Longleaf Pine habitat is Disney Wilderness Area south of Orlando.

Relation to Nehrling Gardens: This site was the home of a Longleaf Pine approximately 80’ tall and shown in early photos of the Nehrling estate. This tree was affected by a combination of insects and hurricanes which caused it to decline in early 2021. It was removed by professional arborists. The ground was allowed to dry, adjacent trees where removed early on to improve air flow but with no impact. This new Longleaf pine was planted in 2022 and has shown great potential

Location in Gardens: C15

Additional Information: Longleaf pine had a very important role during the Colonial times. From the sap of the tree, tar and turpentine was collected. This was called “ Ships stores” as the materials would be used as a type of waterproofing of the bottom of wooden ships. Turpentine was as a medicinal remedy for what ails you. At one time in history there were over 90 million acres of this tree planted. 20 years ago we only had about 3.2 million acres. Today, with more land purchased for conservation and preservation, volunteers are planting out more and more of the Longleaf pine to improve habitat for endangered and threatened plants and animals.

Sponsor: Theresa Schretzmann-Myers