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Featured Trees

Loblolly pine

By January 22, 2013No Comments

Courtesy of the LBJ Wildflower CenterLoblolly pine (Pinus taeda)

Loblolly pine is a large, resinous, conifer reaching from 50 to 100 feet tall. It has gray, scaly bark and dark green needles up to 10 inches long. It drops its lower branches as it grows to form an open, rounded crown of spreading branches under which many other trees and plants may live. One of the fastest growing pine trees, loblolly is used for lumber, pulpwood, and veneer. It is native to the southeastern United States from s. New Jersey down to Florida and west to East Texas. The population of loblolly pine in Bastrop County (known as the Lost Pines) is isolated from the rest by several hundred miles and has developed adaptations that allow it to thrive in the semi-arid climate in Central Texas. These adaptations include a thicker waxy coating on the needles, fewer stomata on the needles, a more fibrous root system, shorter height, and more persistent lower trunk branches.

Photo: Loblolly – Sally and Andy Wasowski, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center