Southern Yellow Pine Tree

By: C. Colston Burrell

Southern yellow pine treehas very long needles.See more pictures of trees.

The southern yellow pine tree, also known as the longleaf pine, does indeed have very long needles, three to a bundle, that are often put to good use as Christmas decorations when cut.

Description of southern yellow pine tree: Young trees go through a long 'grass stage' in which they remain at ground level, with no trunk, until their long taproot is fully developed. They then produce a trunk and branches and, for another few decades, have a triangular growth pattern. At maturity, they lose their lower branches and form a rounded top on a straight trunk that reaches up to 80 feet in height. The persistent needles are striking in length: up to 18 inches long, although 8 to 15 inches is the average. The cones, up to 12 inches long, may remain on the tree for 20 years.


Growing southern yellow pine tree: The southern yellow pine prefers full sun and sandy soils with good drainage. It grows poorly in heavy soils and is difficult to transplant.

Uses for southern yellow pine tree: This tree is interesting for backgrounds and windbreaks.

Southern yellow pine tree related species: The pitch pine (Pinus rigida) has an appearance similar to the Southern yellow pine, but with shorter needles. It is a better choice for colder climates.

Scientific name of southern yellow pine tree: Pinus palustris

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