Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

PITCH PINE
Pinus rigida
Pinaceae

Needles are fascicled, in groups of 3 sometimes 2, about 4 inches long, evergreen, stout, sharp-pointed, blue-green to green, and twisted. Twigs are red-brown and scaly with red-brown buds. Bark is gray-brown and rough becoming red-brown and plated on large trees. Small trees may show tufts of needles sticking out of the bark. Cones are about 3 inches long, gray-brown, armed with sharp prickles and serotinous. Form is up to 24 m (80 ft) in height and 61 cm (2 ft) in diameter, but usually smaller. Pitch pine can sprout after fire and is found on dry slopes and ridges in the eastern U.S. and as far south as northern Alabama. The resinous wood is used for pulpwood and railroad ties.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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