Longleaf Pine Glossary-this
is to be used in conjunction with the Teacher/Kid's Guide but can
also serve as a general reference for terms associated with the
longleaf pine ecosystem
A B C
D E F G
H I J K
L M N O
P Q R S T
U V W X Y
Adaptation - An alteration or adjustment
in physical structure or habits. Adaptations are often hereditary,
by which a species or individual improves its ability to survive
and reproduce in its environment. Adaptations can be changes in
fur color, amount of fur, better night vision, etc.
Acre - A unit of measure used to describe large areas. Equal
to 43,560 square feet. A square acre would be approximately 209
feet by 209 feet and a circular acre would have a radius of 117.75
feet. Visually, one acre is about the size of a football field.
Agriculture - The raising of crops and/or livestock for
human use. Prior to the discovery of irrigation and use of fertilizers
many of the soils in which longleaf pine forests grow were poorly
suited for agriculture.
Arsonist - Malicious individuals who purposely set fire
to the woods without regard to its effects on human life or property.
Usually done during the hottest, driest, windiest times of year
to increase the level of damage caused by the fire.
Ax (Axe) - Logging and turpentine hand tool. Were used to
either fell longleaf trees or to cut off limbs once the tree was
on the ground in logging. Could be either single bit (one blade)
or double bit (blades on two sides). Also used to in the turpentine
industry to start a catface or box cut (a broad ax or long ax respectively).
Backfire - Fire set to push against the
wind. Backfires move through the longleaf pine forest at about one
foot per minute.
Berries - Soft fruits produced by blueberries, dogwoods,
blackberries, plums, etc. that are eaten by many animals and insects
in the longleaf pine forest. Also called soft mast.
Biodiversity - The number of different plant, animal and
insect species found within a particular area. Longleaf forests
have high biodiversity. This diversity, however, is often found
not by looking up to the tree canopy but by looking down at your
feet. Most of the diversity of this forest is found mostly on the
forest floor. Fire helps to maintain this high biodiversity.
Bobwhite Quail - Ground nesting and roosting species of
game bird. These birds thrive in longleaf pine forests maintained
Bogs - An open area maintained by fire with wet soils and
low nutrients. Many plants in the longleaf pine forest are endemic
to these bogs, i.e., pitcher plants.
Boll Weevil - A small insect of the weevil family about
¼ inch long that may be reddish-brown, gray, or almost black.
A non-native insect that entered the United States near Brownsville,
TX from Mexico in 1892 and devastated the cotton industry.
Box Cut- A term from the turpentine industry. A cut that
was notched into the bottom of a pine tree where gum draining down
the tree face collected.
Brand - Marks burned onto the hides of live cattle with
a red-hot branding iron. Such marks were used help identify ownership
of cattle. During a time when cattle were not fenced in, the lack
of brands could make the identification of one's cattle very difficult.
Bulk Goods - Heavy and/or large commodities like lumber,
logs, timber, coal, barrels of turpentine, cotton bails, etc. Bulk
goods could be transported by rail, horse drawn wagons, paddle boats
or bundled together and floated to the markets.
Bugging - The act of searching for insects to eat. Young
birds are especially notorious for eating insects. Insects contain
a large amount of protein. Protein is important for young birds
to help grow feathers. A bugging area is relatively unobstructed
by leaf litter and other rubbish and allows young (small) birds
areas to find, capture, and consume insects. Fire plays an important
role in keeping these bugging areas free of debris.
Burrow- An underground home sometimes constructed with a
series of tunnels. Both gopher tortoises and pocket gophers can
construct burrows. Often times, these burrows are used by other
Butterfly - Flying insects typically having a slender body
with knobbed antennae and broad colorful wings. The adult phase
Canopy - A general term used to describe
the area at the tops of trees. The term can mean all the treetops
in a forest area, or parts of an individual, mature tree that are
green. As longleaf pine reaches maturity, this canopy stops growing
in height and flattens out-it is not beneficial to be the tallest
tree in an environment dominated by lightning. Such a canopy in
an old longleaf pine forest is called "flat-topped".
Cant - A squared off piece of timber that was initially
a round log. The pieces cut off the log to make the square cant
were called slabs. Slabs were often discarded or burned by lumber
Cant Hook - A specialized piece of logging equipment used
to leverage large timbers around. A swiveled hook attached to the
end of a stout pole not more then 3 feet long. Cant hooks are still
is use today in the forest industry. Similar to a peavey, but of
an earlier design. Also called a cant dog.
Caralog - A large two-wheeled cart that was used to move
logs. The wheels had wooden spokes and a metal rim. Tar was used
to lubricate the axels of the cart. Oxen, mules, or horses were
used to move the caralog.
Carnivorous Plants - Plants that trap and digest insects
for food. These plants live in soils that are low in nutrients.
Nutrients are obtained from digesting insects. Fire is a vital part
of their reproductive cycle of these plants. Carnivorous plants
have various mechanisms to attract and trap insects. Flies, ants
and other insects are attracted to the pitcher plant by the sweet
smelling liquid in its trumpet shaped body. Sticky filaments on
the dewthread and sundew will trap and later assist in the digestion
of insects that happen to get stuck on them. The venus flytrap simply
closes around an insect like a leg hold trap.
Catastrophic Wildfire - A fire not set by prescription but
instead set by mother nature. Usually these fires burn during the
hottest, driest days of the year and can result in loss of habitat,
human structure or life.
Caterpillar - Larval stage of moths and butterflies.
Catface - A term used by the turpentine industry. The chevron
marks slashed into a tree during the collection of resin (gum, oleoresin)
using a tool called a hack. The slashes resemble cat whiskers and
help direct the flow of resin downward. Bark is removed during the
slashing processes creating an open "face" (or wound)
on the tree's side.
Caulking - The process of stuffing material like tar into
the cracks of wooden ship planks to stop water leaks. Caulking essentially
"waterproofs" a wooden ship.
Cavities - Large holes excavated into tree trunks for use
as nesting and roosting sites. These can be excavated into dead
trees (snags) such as by red-headed woodpeckers or living trees
such as by the red-cockaded woodpecker.
CCC - see Civilian Conservation Corps
Cellulose - The substance that makes up the cell walls in
wood and is used for the production of paper when the lignin is
removed. Can also be used in the manufacture of explosives.
Civilian Conservation Corps - (also called CCC) Government
agency formed to relieve the mass unemployment of the Great Depression
and to restore abused lands in the 1930's. In the southeast, many
in the CCC were used to replant cutover longleaf forests with slash
or loblolly pine. They were also used to help put out fires.
Clayey Soils - Soil where the texture has a large percentage
of small (clay) particles. Clay is smooth when dry and sticky when
wet. Soils high in clay content are called heavy soils. Clay also
can hold a lot of nutrients, but doesn't let air and water through
it well. Sandy soil is the opposite of clayey soil in that it is
made up of larger particles. In the south, clayey soil is usually
distinguished as an orange, orange-red color.
Clearinghouse - A central agency for collecting and giving
Climax Community - The end point of community succession.
Longleaf pine forests are not considered climax because fire prevents
the later stages of plant succession from occurring.
Coarse Woody Debris - Dead woody material, in various stages
of decomposition, located above the soil, larger than 3 inches in
diameter, and is not self- supporting. Snags and stumps (intact
in ground) are considered self-supporting. Pieces of coarse woody
debris may be suspended on nearby live or dead trees, other pieces
of coarse woody debris, stumps or other terrain features.
Cohort - A generation born durning the same time frame (year,
season, month, etc.). A cohort of seedlings are ones germinated
in the same seed year (for longleaf pine, this may be every several
Color Phases - Animals of the same species but exhibiting
Commensalism - A mutualistic relationship where one individual
benefits while the other is neither harmed nor benefited. For example,
the dung beetle relies on the scat of the gopher tortoise which
it crafts into a ball and rolls to a location where it can be eaten
later. The gopher tortoise is neither harmed nor benefited by the
Competition - Two or more individuals attempting to secure
finite resources for themselves. Can occur in abiotic factors like
light, nutrients, living space, water, or biotic factors like mates.
For example, a longleaf pine seedling may stay in the grass stage
for several years until competition is reduced and resources become
Conservation - The wise use of resources so that they are
never depleted. For example little regard was given to the conservation
of the longleaf pine forest in the early 20th century. The idea
was simply to "cut out and get out".
Construct - To build. It may take the red-cockaded woodpecker
several years to construct a cavity in a living longleaf pine tree.
It may take a gopher tortoise only several days to construct a burrow.
Many buildings and structures were constructed from the wood of
longleaf pine trees.
Coral Snake - Venomous multicolored snake common to the southeastern
U.S.. The familiar rhyme; "Red touching black, friend of Jack,
Red touching yellow, Kills a Fellow!" describes the difference
between coral snakes and non-venomous look-a-likes (colors indicating
the different colored bands on the snakes)..
Cordage - Rope used in sailing and other outdoor uses.
Covey- A small social group of birds of the same species
(like quail) that stay together during the fall and winter.
Cowpen - An area (usually a garden) enclosed by fence to
keep out free-range cattle.
Croaker Sack - Although "croaker" is how it is
commonly pronounced in the South, the term likely is derived from
"crocus sack". A crocus sack is defined as a gunnysack
or a sack made of coarse (usually burlap) material. The derivation
of the name is likely because crocus, or saffron, was first shipped
in sacks made of this material; also called a "tow sack"
or "grass sack" in the South.
Crosscut Saws - Two man saw used to cut wood. One man pulls
on the saw handle while the other pushes on the saw handle and vice
versa until the saw moves (cuts) back and forth across the log.
The song sung by these men was "I don't want it, you take it.
No I don't want it, you take it."
Cut Out and Get Out - A philosophy employed early in the
20th century whereby logging companies cut all the available longleaf
pine trees and then left the area without replanting.
Deadhead - A submerged pine log. Because
longleaf pine trees were dense with resin, many logs sank (or partially
sank) as they were floated down rivers and streams to sawmills in
the early 20th century. The rot resistant heart pine of the log
meant that most trees did not decay once submerged. Often, this
created a navigation hazard for decades to come. However, these
sunken logs also provide valuable refuge for the diverse fish, turtles,
and invertebrates found in the southeast. Deadheads are also called
sinkers, sleepers or submerged sawyers.
Deal - A raft made of squared (cant) timber. See also log-raft.
Decomposition - The process of rotting. Rotting is essentially,
the process of reducing organic material into inorganic components
by fungi and/or bacteria. The warm temperatures and high rainfall
in the southeast are ideal conditions for microbes that assist in
decomposition. However, some plant materials (like pine straw) are
recalcitrant and fairly resistant to decomposition. Fire plays a
vital role in helping to break down these recalcitrant materials.
Defense Mechanisms - Defenses developed by various plants
and animals to protect themselves against predators and enemies.
Defensive Behavior - Either the threat or actual act of
using a defensive mechanisms. For example, the eastern diamondback
rattlesnake will rattle its tail to let you know when it is alarmed
by your presence. When threatened, the Pine Barrens tree frog will
inflate itself with air, making it larger and more difficult to
consume by a predator.
Den - Holes in trees or in the ground where some animals
live; particularly to shelter and raise young.
Depredation - The act of predation; eating or destroying.
Depression - A period of economic distress, unemployment,
etc. There were two major periods of economic depression in the
south-post civil war and during the Great Depression.
Detritus - The remains of something that has been destroyed
or broken up. Also, loose material (stone fragments and silt etc)
that is worn away from rocks. Essentially, detritus is forest "junk".
Dipping - A term used by the turpentine industry. The process
whereby, resin (gum) is scraped out of pots affixed to the trees
side or "dipped" out the box cut at the base of the tree.
Distilling - A term used by the turpentine industry. Cooking
down gum to yield various products. Mainly cooking down of gum to
yield solid rosin and liquid spirits of turpentine. As the gum warms
a vapor comes off. This vapor travels through a big coil submerged
in water. The water cools the coil and causes the vapor to turn
into a liquid. This liquid is the spirits of turpentine. The cooked
down solid material is the rosin. Distilling is done at a distillery.
Disturbance - Something out of the norm which can cause
disruption. These can be large or small in size (scale). In longleaf
pine forests, hurricanes, lightning, fire, tornado, insects, and
logging are all examples of disturbances.
Diurnal - Active during the day. Diurnal animals are active
during the day and sleep at night. Diurnal flowers are open during
the day and closed at night.
Donkey Engine - A small, steam powered engine of one to
four horsepower that burned wood for fuel (later, combustion engines
replaced the steam engine). An extremely valuable innovation in
early logging. The correct name is the Dolbeer Logging Engine named
after its inventor John Dolbeer in1881. Although it had many uses,
the engine was used in logging for dragging logs through the forest,
or lifting and carrying them on an aerial cable tramway. When mounted
on a railroad car the donkey engine instantly becomes a convenient
steam crane for use in building the railroad.
Driver - A person who controls the movement or direction
of a team of horses, mules or oxen. An oxen-driver was also called
a bullwhacker or a bull puncher.
Duff - An accumulation of non-living organic debris (mostly
plant stuffs) on the forest floor. Duff is often material that has
already begun to decompose.
Dummy Line - a term used in railroad logging to describe
railroad tracks that did not connect communities nor seem have any
direction to them. Also called spur or tram lines.
Dung - The excrement of an animal. Also called scat.
Dung Beetle - a beetle in the longleaf pine forest who has
specialized to feast on the undigested plant matter of animal's
dung. Will craft dung into a ball and roll to its burrow.
Early Successional Species - species that
pioneer in or benefit from disturbance, usually need full sun to
succeed. Over time, these species are later replace by others.
Ecological Maturity - The period when an item has contributed
all it can to an ecosystem. For longleaf pine forests, this maturity
can be upwards to 300 years.
Economic Maturity - The period when an item has made all
the money it can make. Beyond that point, an item begins to loose
money. With trees grown for fiber, that period is usually 15 - 20.
When reaching economic maturity, the trees are cut.
Economy - Commerce, trade, wealth, employment and their
Ecosystem - Plant and animal communities, their environment,
and the resulting interactions. Can be as simple as a mud puddle
or dead log or as complex as a forest containing thousands of acres.
Ecotype - An identifiable ecosystem, such as the longleaf
- wiregrass ecotype
Ecotone-A transitional area between two ecotypes-such as
the area between a longleaf pine forest and a pitcher plant bog.
Education - Learning, teaching
Endangered - A plant, animal or insect that is in imminent
danger of extinction. Can be federally endangered (in peril of global
extinction) like the red-cockaded woodpecker or American chaffseed
plant or state endangered (in peril of extinction from a region)
such as the gopher tortoise in Mississippi.
Endangered Species Act - 1974 federal law that provides
for protection of plants and animals that are in danger of extinction.
Also protects critical habitats of those species.
Endemic - found only within that system. Many legumes are
endemic to longleaf pine forests.
Epiphyte - A form of commensalism were the individual uses
a host plant (or animal) for mechanical support rather than a source
of nutrients and water. The host is neither harmed nor benefited.
In longleaf pine forests, Spanish moss is considered an epiphyte.
Escape - Avoid danger. Many animals in the longleaf pine
forest have developed ways to escape being harmed by fires.
Exotic - Something not found in an area naturally. In most
cases it was introduced to an area by man. With few natural predators,
these exotics can reproduce unchecked, e.g., fire ants, kudzu, feral
Exports - Goods and products shipped to another nation or
region for sale. Both turpentine and lumber from the longleaf pine
forest were widely exported.
Extinction - Ceasing to exist. Extinct species will never
reappear on the earth. Also called globally extinct. Longleaf forest
examples; passenger pigeons, Carolina parakeet, Bachman's warbler,
Fatwood - The resin laden wood of longleaf
pine. Known also as lightwood or lighterwood due to the ease it
takes to catch on fire. Used a lot as kindling.
Fences - In colonial times, most fences were of wooden rails
(cut from smaller longleaf pine trees) and were used to keep animals
out of agricultural fields and occasionally in a pen or corral.
Feral Animal - Domestic animals gone wild. Physical changes
are usually noted in offspring; such as teeth elongating, coat growing
longer and changing colors as in the case with feral hogs.
Fiber - Stringy plant material or cellulose strands used
to make paper.
Fire-Break - An area where all organic (burnable) material
is scraped away by hand or with a machine. It can be used to keep
an fire from moving either in or out of an area.
Fire Climax Community - A plant and animal community that
is molded by frequent fires. Fire prevents the community from moving
to climax community. Longleaf pine forests are considered fire climax.
Fire Dependent - Species or ecosystem that requires fire
for survival or persistence.
Fire Shadow - An area directly behind a fire resistant structure
like a dead log which is sheltered from the fire
Fire Tolerance - The ability to tolerate fire without suffering
mortality or severe damage
Folklore - Legends, tales, and knowledge, often about nature
and usually oral, developed by a society over time and repeated
to successive generations
Food Web - A community of organisms where there are several
interrelated food chains. Take away one organism and the "web"
may collapse. This collapse is also called the "rivet popping
theory"; meaning you can take rivets (organisms) off an airplane
(ecosystem) and it still may fly (function). Take away too many
rivets or the wrong rivet and the plane will fall apart and most
likely will crash.
Foraging - Searching for food. Term can be used for insects,
animals, and people.
Forest Floor - A general term used to describe that above-ground
portion of the forest ground.
Forest Industry - A commerce that is driven by forest related
products. Although usually wood related products (like timber) it
may also relate to other forest product like pine-straw producers.
Forest Opening - An opening without trees. A meadow or gap
in the tree canopy were extra resources are available (like light,
soil moisture, nitrogen, etc.) and fires may not be as intense.
Usually these openings are required by certain plant species to
regenerate such as the case with longleaf pine seedlings.
Forest Products - Traditionally lumber, poles, pulpwood,
pinestraw, etc. Can also mean wildlife, foodstuffs, clean air and
water, recreation, aesthetics, etc.
Fox Squirrels - Largest tree squirrel. Southeastern subspecies
adapted to mature longleaf and scrub oak forests.
Fragmentation - Breaking up of habitat or ecotypes by roads,
agriculture, etc into small islands, limiting success of inhabitants
and making exchange of genetic material difficult. Today, the longleaf
pine ecosystem is heavily fragmented.
Free Range - A practice no longer allowed whereby livestock
are released into the forest to graze. Fences were used to keep
livestock out of areas, rather then fence them in. The animals were
left to graze where they pleased. Brands and ear notches were methods
used to identify ownership.
Freshen - In range management, the "green up"
of tender grasses for grazing following a fire.
Fuel Reduction - The reduction of flammable materials by
prescribed fire, mechanical, or other means to reduce the risk of
Gap - A small opening in the forest canopy
caused by the death of one or several trees. Results in increased
resources such as light, nitrogen, soil moisture reaching the forest
floor. Required for young longleaf pine to regenerate.
Germination -- the process whereby seeds or spores sprout
and begin to grow. Longleaf pine generally needs bare mineral soil
to germinate and become established.
Gopher Tortoise - A medium sized land turtle that inhabits
the sandy ground of open longleaf forests. Its den is important
to the well-being of dozens of other species. Not found throughout
the entire range of the longleaf pine forest. Since the gopher tortoise
is cold-blooded it spends a great deal of time outside in the entrance
of the burrow (called the apron) soaking up the sun.
Grass Stage - The early period in a longleaf pine seedling,
where it has no aboveground stem. In fact, the tree more resembles
a clump of grass rather then a tree. The tree is growing at this
point, however, it is putting growth into its root system rather
then aboveground parts.
Graze - Foraging for grassy or herbaceous vegetation by
animals like cattle or bison.
Ground cover - A generic term used to describe the mat of
plants found on the forest floor. In longleaf pine forests, this
ground cover is usually dominated by a species of grass like wiregrass
or split-beard bluestem.
Gum - see resin.
Habitat - An animal's environment (where
it lives). This area must supply all of the animal's life needs.
Habitat Niche - The portion of the environment that an animal
occupies; e.g., parula warblers feed on insects and nest in the
tops of mature hardwood trees. Towhees may live and nest in the
same habitat, but nest in the brushy layer near the ground and scratch
for food on the forest floor.
Habitat Selection - Animals select habitat depending on
how well it meets their life needs, i.e., food, shelter, water,
Hack - A term used by the turpentine industry. A tool which
was used to cut into the inner bark of pine trees, wound the tree
and stimulate resin flow (a defense to the wounding).
Hatchet - Short-handled ax usually used to chop wood. However,
it was also effective in preparing food (for example to lop the
head of a chicken) or as a weapon.
Hard-Mast - Acorns, nuts and other "hard" fruits
produced by a tree or scrub. Eaten by animals and insects (and sometimes
Headfire - A fire burning with the wind.
Heartpine - An industry term used to call the heartwood
of longleaf pine trees. Usually described as a reddish-brown color
with dense wood. Because of its high resin content, the wood was
usually very strong and rot resistant.
Heartwood - The center, woody portions of a tree were dead
material accumulates. It is often dark in appearance, full of resin
Helper Birds - In red-cockaded woodpeckers, males from previous
broods, essentially uncles, may stay behind to help the breeding
pair feed new nestlings.
Herbal Medicines - Medicines derived from plants and plant
Host Plant - Species of plants that some organism depends
upon, i.e., either lives on or within the plant. Usually used to
describe some sort of symbiotic relationship between two organisms;
a host (like butterfly weed) and a symbiont (like monarch butterfly).
Host Specific - An organism (the symbiont) depends upon
one particular species of plants, animal, or insect for its host.
Human Induced Fire - Fires set deliberately or accidentally
by humans. Early Americans, settlers, and present day managers all
use fire as a tool. Arsonists and careless people occasionally start
fires as well.
Hunter-Gatherer - Societies which do not farm or raise their
own food, but forage or hunt for it. Many of these societies are
nomadic or semi-nomadic. Early settlers often resembled hunter-gatherer
societies in their activities, particularly in hard times or crop
Hunting - Taking game animals for means of food, clothing,
Indian - see Native American
Indigenous - Endemic to a specific area. Usually used to
describe cultures, such as Native Americans.
Invasive - Something involved in an invasion or aggressive
attack. For example, kudzu is a very invasive plant and a quickly
take over an area.
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker - A large black-and-white woodpecker
that was once common in southern United States and Cuba having an
ivory colored bill. Today it is thought to be extinct. Strangely,
this bird had earned the nickname "Lord-God Bird" by Georgians.
Jobber - A person contracted for a specific
job. In this case, loggers who were contracted by a logging company
to cut trees or raft logs to the mill. Also called a log-jobber
Keystone Species - A species on which a
group of other animals and plants depend for survival or success.
The gopher tortoise is considered a keystone species because so
many animals and plants depend on it.
Knot- A round piece of wood that was once the branch of
a tree. Knots made of longleaf heartpine are common in many areas
because they do not decay readily. On cut boards, a knot is a cross-grained
piece of wood that signifies where a branch emerged from the tree
Legends - Tales passed down from generation
to generation, often exaggerated. In an era when few people could
read (let alone write), such legends were vital for passing on information
such as family history. Also called oral legends.
Legume - Plants in the pea or bean family which can convert
atmospheric nitrogen to elemental nitrogen. The fruit is usually
in the form of a pod. Many legumes can be found in the longleaf
pine forest. Fire is beneficial to many of these legumes.
Lighter Wood - See also fatwood. Also called fat lighter
or fat lighterwood.
Lightwood - Commonly called fatwood or lighter wood.
Lightning-ignited fire - Fires created by lightning. Either
the energy from the lightning bolt is transmitted down the tree
truck to ignite grasses or a blazing chunk of the struck tree is
blown off and the grasses ignited. In the southeast, such fires
usually occur within the summer months.
Lindsey Wagon - An eight wheeled wagon patented in 1899
in Laurel, MS and designed for hauling heavy loads of logs over
uneven and rough landscapes. At the time this wagon was revolutionary
and greatly increased the productivity of logging.
Livestock - Domesticated animals like cattle, hogs, horses,
sheep, or goats.
Loblolly Pine - A common southeastern pine species which
grows fast and provides good fiber crops and valuable lumber. It
grows on a variety of sites. Is not very tolerant of fire (especially
at smaller sizes). Also called "old-field" pine because
of its ability to rapidly colonize areas abandoned by agriculture.
Log Dog - Tool used in the logging industry used to keep
log rafts together. Log dogs were essentially shackles affixed on
either end with two spikes. Each spike was driven into a log and
the shackles held the logs together. Another variation used to hold
logs together was basically a large staple called a raft dog. Logs
that were held together were said to be "dogged" together.
Log Raft - A series of cut logs held together and floated
downstream to a sawmill. A large auger (about 5 feet) called a raft
auger was used to bore holes near the ends of the logs and they
were arranged side by side using "lash poles" (smaller
saplings laid perpendicular to the log raft). Next "lash poles"
were nailed to the raft with wooden pigs (large wooden dowels or
pegs). Often, logs were bored on land. Only the most skilled experts
could bore holes in a log while it was afloat. Later the sapling
and peg method was replaced with metal raft shackles or dogs. Many
logs could be lashed side by side forming a large "platform"
raft or smaller rafts, three to four trees wide could be dogged
together to form a "snake raft". The later were preferred
in smaller, more sinuous streams. A raft made of squared off (cant)
timbers was called a "deal".
Logging - Cutting trees to produce forest products such
as lumber, poles, paper, etc.
Longleaf Alliance - A non-profit group dedicated to the
restoration and retention of longleaf pine.
Longleaf Pine - A southern pine species which once dominated
the uplands of the southeastern United States. The state tree of
Alabama. Also called; The Fire Forest, Pine Barrens, Pineywoods,
High Pines, Flatwoods, Mountain Pine, Yellow Pine Forests, etc.
Lumber - Boards sawn from logs and used for high-quality
pieces in construction, e.g., flooring or paneling. Longleaf pine
produces high quality heartpine lumber.
Malaria - A disease caused by parasites
that are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito; marked
by sudden fits of chills and fever. At one time, this disease was
very common in the South. Many people living on coast escaped the
hordes of mosquitoes in the summertime by moving inland into the
longleaf pine forests.
Mast - Food source produced by a tree, shrub or plant. Can
be a hard or soft mast. Also masts are a vertical spar for supporting
sails on wooden sailing ships. Because longleaf pines were straight
and tall, they made excellent masts for ships.
Mast year - The period of time when a tree, shrub or plant
produces mast. For longleaf pine, this is infrequent, occurring
once every several years.
Markets - Places where products are bought and sold.
Mattock - A kind of pick that is used for digging; has a
flat-baled set at right angles to the handle. Also commonly called
a "grubbing tool".
Megafauna - Large, ice-age animals such as mammoth, mastodon,
giant sloth, etc.
Metamorphosis - A complete change of physical form. Also,
the marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that
occurs in some animals and insects (such as the butterfly).
Microhabitat - Small areas that are different than the larger
area in which they are contained. Examples include pitcher plant
bogs, caves, cypress ponds, etc.
Milkweed - A group of plants with milky sap and light wind-blown
seeds. Many milkweed species serve as host plants for butterflies
and are abundant in longleaf pine forests.
Milling - Making a finished product from a raw material
at a sawmill.
Mimicry - Plants and animals which closely resemble another
as a form of protection. Some animals mimic dangerous animals to
frighten off potential predators. Others are carefully camouflaged
to resemble their backgrounds and hide from enemies.
Monoculture - Areas with low biodiversity. In fact, these
areas are often managed for only a single species, e.g., loblolly
pine plantations grown strictly for fiber can be a monoculture.
Mutualistic Relationship - A symbiotic relationship between
two organisms where both organisms benefit.
National Forests - A system of publicly
owned forestlands scattered across the nation and managed for multiple
uses by the U.S. Forest Services. Compared to the western United
States, little of the longleaf pine landscape is contained in National
Forest-most is privately owned.
Native - Naturally found in an area. Opposite of non-native
Native American - The first Americans-- also called American
Indians, native people or aboriginal people. In the southeast, most
Native Americans were killed outright by white settlers, killed
by disease or shipped off to other states along the "Trail
Natural fire - Fire caused by natural agents such as lightning.
Naval stores - Substances (such as pitch and tar) derived
from pine resin that was historically used to waterproof ships and
ropes in the British Royal Navy, hence the name. Later came to be
associated with all pine resin products, including turpentine and
Needle -- The leaf structure of a pine tree. Longleaf pine
has the longest needles of all southern pines.
Nettles - Plants covered with stinging hairs as a form of
defense against being eaten.
Nitrogen Fixation - A process that occurs between rhizobium
and legumes (a symbiotic relationship) where gaseous nitrogen is
taken from the air and converted to a form usuable by the plant.
Non-native - See exotic.
Non-venomous - Snakes or other animals whose bite or sting
contains or imparts no toxins.
Nutrient Cycling - The process of nutrient exchange. For
instance, the decay of organic material and the return of nutrients
to the soil in elemental form (like nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.).
This elemental form is then taken up and incorporated by plants,
perhaps eaten by animals, etc. and returned to the soil as it is
Oak - Hardwood tree species that produce
acorns (hard mast), which are a great wildlife food. Fire keeps
these oaks low in stature in longleaf pine forests.
Off-site - Not found in that area unless man intervenes
to put it there.
Open range - See free range.
Operant conditioning - A type of associative learning that
directly affects behavior. Also called trial and error learning.
Overconsumption - The act of consuming something in excess.
For example, in longleaf pine forests, wild hogs overconsumed longleaf
Overexploitation - The overharvest or overuse of a resource.
The result is a depletion of or exhaustion of that resource. Overexploitation
is the opposite of conservation. Longleaf pine forests were overexploited
in the late 19th early 20th century. Species can also be overexploited
(such as wood's bison or the passenger pigeon) and can result in
Parasite - A relationship between two organisms
where one benefits and the other is harmed.
Partnership - Collaboration. Working together to accomplish
a common goal. Bringing back the longleaf pine forest will take
a partnership of many individuals.
Passenger pigeon - A North American migratory pigeon that
is now extinct. These pigeons were said to have roosted in "southern
Pasture - A field covered with grass or herbage and suitable
for grazing by livestock. When the woods were free-range, cattlemen
generally did not worry about lack of food for the animals. As a
rule of thumb, general one cow could be sustained on 20 acres of
native grasses. However, as fencing laws were passed, and cows were
herded into smaller areas, food became limiting. Trees were cut
to allow more light to reach the ground and native grasses were
replaced with non-native pasture grasses.
Peavy - A logging tool. A hybrid between a pike and cant
hook developed in 1870 by a blacksmith named John Peavey. The tool
accomplished what both the pike and cant hook were designed to do;
roll and push logs. Also called the American peavey. The stout wooden
handle is called a stock.
Phloem - The tree equivalent to veins of the human body.
Essentially it is a system of tubes that transport sugar and other
organic nutrients throughout the plant.
Pike - A logging tool. Although it's full name is a "jam
pike" it is commonly called "pike" by loggers. A
spike on the end of a long pole used to pry and push around rafted
Pine Needles - The green, leafy portion of pine trees. Shape
is similar to long, thin needles (hence the name). Longleaf pine
has the longest needles of all the southern pines. The needles of
longleaf pine grow in groups of three. Groups of needles are found
as a circular bunch out on the ends of branches (with a similar
appearance to a burst of fireworks you see on the Fourth of July).
The green needles of longleaf pine are responsible for photosynthesis
and protecting the tree's buds (the growing tips of the tree) from
Pine straw - The dead, fallen needles of pine tree. Used
as a mulch in gardening and may also supply fuel for a fire.
Piney-woods rooter - Barn yard pigs which have essentially
gone wild (or feral). Also called razorback or wood's hog. These
pigs had an acquired appetite for longleaf pine seedlings and often
devoured entire cohorts of longleaf pine seedlings. Some said that
hogs that fed exclusively on pine seedlings tasted like turpentine.
Often riddled with parasites, the hogs were malnourished and often
looked half starved. In fact, the bony spinal column showing is
what earned the hogs the name razorback.
Pitcher plant - Carnivorous plants whose modified leaves
trap insects to be digested.
Plant succession - The natural progression of plant communities
following disturbance and resulting in a climax community, which
is stable. In the south, the progression usually starts with small
seeded grasses and weeds, replaced in succession by large seeded
grasses and weeds; pines and light seeded hardwoods; pines; oak
and hickory forests; and finally beech and magnolia (climax) forests.
The forest will remain in this state until the next disturbance.
Fire is a natural process that does not allow (retards) succession
to proceed to later (climax) stages in longleaf pine forests.
Plantation - A large landholding usually owned by a single
family for a specific purpose. One group of plantations are the
cotton and rice plantations stereotypical of the antebellum south
(e.g., Gone With the Wind). The other group of plantations are the
quail-hunting plantations where recreation plays a key role in management
of the property. In forestry, the term plantation refers to planted
stands of trees in tidy rows. These tree plantations are usually
Poison ivy - Plant which contains an irritating oil, urushiol,
in the leaves, berries and roots, which causes itching, blisters
and discomfort when it comes into contact with skin. Same defensive
mechanism as poison oak. Common in the longleaf pine forest.
Poles - A forest product made from the straightest, strongest
trees and used to support utilities like power lines and telephone
lines. Fire causes longleaf pine to maintain a straight form, thus
making it the most superb tree for making poles.
Pollination - Transfer of pollen from one flower to another,
yielding fruits and seeds. Pollination is carried out by insects,
birds, animals, rain, and the wind.
Population explosion - A large (and often unexpected) increase
in the population of some plant, animal or insect. Often times,
the population surpasses of the ability of an area to sustain them.
Without food to sustain themselves, population explosions can be
followed by large die offs (also called population busts). Usually,
in the absence of natural predators, non-natives experience population
Predation - The capturing of prey as a means of maintaining
life. One (of many) examples of predation in the longleaf pine forest
is the grey fox. Using its strong sense of smell and keen eyesight,
the fox hunts around the forest looking for food. One food type
the fox is particularly fond of is ground-nesting birds like bobwhite
Prescribed fire - Fire set by trained personnel under specific
weather conditions for a specific objective. Also called a controlled
burn because the experts can predict what the fire will do.
Prey -- An animal hunted or caught for food. Also called
Private ownership - Land not under public control. Most
land in the southeast is privately owned.
Pulp and Paper Industry - The industry that converts wood
to pulp and (eventually) paper or paper products (like cardboard).
Public land -- Land paid for and supported by public tax
Rafting - A means of transporting goods
to processing facilities or markets. Logs were often rafted to sawmills
(see log raft). However, it was not uncommon for large barrels of
turpentine to be lashed together and floated down stream.
Rail - Fencing materials or tracks for trains. Young longleaf
pine trees around 10 - 20 feet tall (saplings) were halved or quartered
and stacked upon one another to make rail fences. Rail tracks for
trains (such as those used in logging) were often made of metal
and of a narrower "gauge" then normal passenger trains.
Rails could have also been made of wooden cants or the trees themselves.
Range - An area where a species can naturally occur. Range
can be limited by geography, climate, soils, elevation, aspect,
etc. Also can be used to describe area where livestock are grazed.
May also be used to describe a collection of mountain peaks such
as those found in north Georgia and Alabama where longleaf pine
Range management - Management of livestock range with fire,
fertilizers, etc. to improve its quality.
Razorback - See piney-woods rooter. Some have suggested
that unlike the piney-woods rooter, razorback hogs were direct decendents
of the hogs brought to North America by early European explorers.
Further some have suggested that razorback hogs occupied different
areas then the piney-woods rooter (also called the wood's hog or
feral hog). Razorbacks were said to occupy ridgetops while wood's
hogs occupied lower lying areas. Such destinction, however, is likely
based purely on speculation and folklore.
Red-cockaded woodpecker - A species of woodpeckers which
nests only in living pines and prefers mature, open and parklike
longleaf pine forests. This bird is endangered with global extinction.
Also called a peckerwood by Georgians.
Red-heart disease - A disease that rots the inner portions
of a tree. This disease does not kill trees, since the pathogen
only attacks the internal, inactive (non-living) heartwood. Trees
with advanced infections, however, are subject to wind breakage
due to the structurally debilitating effects of the associated wood
decay. Rarely, if ever, is red heart a problem on younger trees.
Red-heart fungus - The fungus that causes red-heart disease
in pine trees. Transmitted through fungal conks.
Reforestation - Getting trees back on open land by planting
or natural seeding.
Refuge - Safe places. Often places used to escape predators.
Regeneration - Reforestation.
Resin - A complex and sticky blend of organic resinous compounds
essentially dissolved in liquid commonly called turpentine. Resin
is transported in channels called resin ducts. These ducts are held
under significant pressure such that when the bark is broken and
underlying wood is cut into, the resin flows for several days, or
longer, until the resin crystallizes and the wound heals. Also called
gum or oleoresin. Not to be confused with sap.
Resin wells - Small holes chipped into the side of a living
pine tree by the red-cockaded woodpecker. Resin flows from these
holes and accumulates on the face of the pine tree. This resin is
an irritant to reptiles and prevents many tree-climbing snakes from
preying on the woodpecker nest. Resin wells give the pine tree tree
a very visible white appearance.
Resource - A supply that can be drawn upon when needed.
Supplies can be abiotic factors like light, nitrogen, and water
or biotic factors such as meat.
Restoration - Putting things back the way they used to be.
In the case of longleaf pine forests, refers to getting back the
trees, the understory community and the animal communities that
once inhabited them.
Retention - Keeping what we have at present.
Rhizobium - Microscopic bacteria found in nodules on the
roots of legumes. Form a symbiotic relationship with legumes to
help in nitrogen fixation.
Road monkey - An unskilled position in logging operations.
The person who cleans the logging roads of debris and animal manure.
Also called a chickadee or sandman.
Rocket stage - A period in the life of a longleaf pine seedling
when it begins growing very rapidly to get ahead of the next fire
that may come through an area.
Roller - A logging term used to describe the man who end-stamps
logs for identification, and then piles the logs together for transportation
elsewhere. A stumping or marking hammer was used to stamp the log.
Root Sprouting - The ability of tree to sprout (or branch)
from the root rather then from the tree trunk. Most oaks in the
longleaf pine forest have the ability to sprout from the root system.
Root - Below ground portion of plants.
Rosin - Dried resin. Used for many purposes ranging from
cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paper coatings and even baseball player
"stickum". In country singer, Charlie Daniel's song "The
Devil Went Down to Georgia" the character Johnny rosined up
his bow in preparation to play his fiddle hard.
Rotation - A forestry term used to describe the period of
time it takes for trees to reach their economic maturity, cut and
Sand Dove - A small dove native to the longleaf
forest, particularly the sandhills.
Sandy Soil - Soils that are predominately made up of sand
particles. They are usually dry and nutrient poor.
Sap - A water-based solution containing mineral nutrients
taken up by the roots from the soil. Also, a sugar-rich watery liquid
just inside the bark in specialized tissue called phloem. Not to
be confused with resin.
Sapwood - The outer, living portion of a tree where most
nutrient and water uptake happens.
Sawmills - Mills where logs are converted to lumber.
Scarlet king snake - A non-poisonous mimic of the coral
Scarlet snake - A non-poisonous coral snake look-alike.
Scat - see dung
Scorpion - An arthropod (invertebrate) with a poisonous
Scrape - The crystallized gum that has collected on the
face of a pine tree. The dried gum was scraped off into a bucket,
dumped into a large wooden barrel, transported to a distillery and
cooked down. Sometimes referred to as gum (because of its gummy
Scratch feeders - Birds that feed primarily on the ground.
These birds use their feet to scratch at loose litter to uncover
foods like seeds and insects. Common examples in the longleaf pine
forest include; bobwhite quail, sand doves and eastern turkey.
Seedlings - Young trees.
Seepage slope - a wet, nutrient poor area on the side of
a hill where pitcher plants may be found.
Settlement - Where people live. The term is usually reserved
to describe the earliest settlements or a region.
Settlers - The first people in an area. Usually refers to
the first Europeans in the New World.
Shade tolerance - The ability to thrive in low light conditions.
Most hardwoods are relatively shade tolerant. Most pines are not.
Share cropper - An individual who farms (and often lives
on) a piece of land owned by someone else. A portion of that individual's
crop (or crops) is used for rent to pay the landower. Also called
a tenant farmer.
Sinker - see deadhead
Skidding - Pulling logs to a gathering point.
Slash Pine - A southeastern pine species particularly well
adapted to a variety of soils. It produces good quality forest products.
It is not as tolerant of fire as longleaf pine trees.
Smokey Bear - A campaign initiated in 1944 to preach the
importance of fire prevention in forests. An affectionate black
bear called Smokey Bear was adopted as its mascot. The Smokey Bear
campaign is the longest running public service campaign in US History.
Smokey's forest fire prevention message remained unchanged for 50
years until April 2001, when the Ad Council updated his message
to address the increasing number of wildfires in the nation's wildlands.
Snag - A standing dead tree. Also called a widowmaker. Home
to many critters in the longleaf pine forest and a conduit through
lightning can pass and create fires.
Soft mast- see Berries
Soil erosion -The gradual wearing away of soil (land) by
water, wind and general weather conditions. Generally, once trees
and plants are removed from an area, erosion is greatly accelerated.
Southern Forestry Education Project - A movement sponsored
by the American Forest Association aimed to teach people in the
south the evils of fire in the forest (pre-Smokey Bear). In 1927,
the "Dixie Crusaders" armed with special trucks, generators,
and motion picture projectors; hit the roads to preach the message
of fire prevention to the uninformed. During the few years that
the project was funded, over three million people were reached throughout
Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
Specialization - Either through genetic disposition or behavior
an organization is forced into a narrow range of conditions.
Species Decline - A reduction in the area occupied by a
species or in the actual numbers of a species.
Spirits of Turpentine - see Turpentine
Spur lines - Dead end rail lines built to enable logging
in remote areas. Also called dummy lines.
Steam engines - Engines powered by boilers to drive powerful
locomotives and other machinery.
Steam skidder - A steam (and later electrically) driven
device operating on or near a railroad track, which skids logs by
means of a cable. Also called a steam jammer.
Stumps - The butts (remnants) of sawed off trees. Usually
include the dead root structure of a tree.
Stump-Wooding-The process by which longleaf pine stumps
were removed (usually by dynamite) and hauled off to the distillery
for extraction into turpentine products.
Subsistence - The bare necessities of life.
Succession - The term used to described transitions in community
structure in ecological time. Usually these transitions occur after
some disturbance (wind, ice, fire, etc). In the absence of these
disturbances, the environment of the southeastern U.S. would likely
be a hardwood forest with little plant growth on the forest floor.
This final stage of succession is called a climax community. Frequent
fires prevent this stage of succession from happening.
Sustainable Forestry - The practice of forest management
to yield desirable forest products and a healthy forest forever.
Symbiosis - A mutualistic relationship where both organism
benefit, e.g., legumes and microscopic rhizobium in nitrogen fixation.
Swamper- An unskilled forest worker, who clears the ground
of underbrush, fallen trees, and other obstructions in preparation
to construct a logging road, open out a gutter road, skid with animals,
or yard with a donkey engine. Also called a beaver, brusher, or
Tally Man - A term used in the turpentine
industry to describe the man in charge of keeping a tally on the
number of tress boxed or streaked by each worker. The number of
tallies accrued by a worker was directly related to the money they'd
Tar - A term used by the turpentine industry. The heavier
portion produced in the distillation of resin. When fatwood limbs
were cooked down in a fire kiln this was usually produced. Although
tar had a variety of uses, it was most often used in the waterproofing
or ships. Tar was an early product of the naval stores industry.
Tater Rake - A tool that is about the size of a hoe, has
a long handle, but has three tines instead of a blade. Short for
Teamster - A person who drives horses
Threatened - A species that is threatened with becoming
endanagered. Although threatened and endangered species are given
protection in the United States through the Endangered Species Act,
threatened species are considered to be at less risk of extinction
than endangered species.
Timber - Products of a tree used in construction, e.g.,
structural beams, railroad ties, bridge timbers. More desired for
their strength and durability rather then their looks. Longleaf
pine makes very strong, very rot-resistant timbers. Also the term
yelled by a lumberjack as a cut tree is falling.
Tram Line - See dummy or spur lines.
Trophic levels -- The feeding position in a food chain such
as primary producers, herbivore, primary & secondary carnivore,
etc. Green plants form the first trophic level, the primary producers.
Herbivores form the second trophic level, while carnivores form
the third and even the fourth trophic levels.
Turpentine - A product of the naval stores industry. A lighter
fraction than rosin and is usually vaporized during the distillation
process. Cooling the turpentine steam yields a liquid which is used
primarily as a cleaner and paint thinner. Also called spirits of
U.S. Fish and Wildlife - A federal agency
who's mission is conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife
and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
U.S. Forest Service - A federal agency in the U.S. Department
of Agriculture charged with, among other things, management of the
country's National Forests.
Understory - The plants that grow on and are limited to
the forest floor. They are often grasses and herbaceous plants,
Vaca - Spanish for "cow".
Vaquero - A cowboy of Spanish decent.
Venomous - Poisonous
Virgin Forest - A forest which has remained unlogged, regardless
of its age or its structure.
Volatilization - Cause a substance to become a vapor. For
example, when fires burn up green plant leaves, they will cause
the substances trapped in the leafy structure (like nitrogen) to
Wetlands - Areas where the soil is regularly
saturated with water during at least some period of the year. Wetlands
are valuable wildlife habitat and act as sponges for floodwaters.
Wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act.
Wet-Prairie - An open, grassy, flatland habitat whose soils
may become saturated with water somewhat easily. Longleaf pine trees
may be dotted throughout the habitat. Pitcher plants are common.
White-Tailed Deer - The forest deer common to the Southeast
and much of the nation.
Widowmaker - See also snag.
Wildfire - Fire not caused by man. In today's environment
these are usually fires burning out of control. Wildfires can be
Wood's Hog-- See piney-woods rooter.
Wood's Rider -- A term used by the turpentine industry to
describe the field superintendent. This individual usually rode
a horse and reported directly to the manager of a turpentine operation.
Yellow Pine -- A collective term for loblolly,
slash and longleaf pines. At one time, however, the term was used
exclusively for longleaf pines.
Yeoman - The term given to frontier people or early settlers
of a region.
Yoke -- Stable gear that joins two draft animals at the
neck so they can work together. Also used to describe a group (or
yoke) of oxen.