When you think of a pine tree, what’s the first thing you think of? Its probably a Christmas tree! Commonly when people think of pine trees their minds instantly wander to a snowy forest of big pine trees, a sight you’re not likely to find down here in Florida! However, there are actually a lot of pine trees found in The Sunshine State! Here are three commonly seen ones.
The Slash Pine
The Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii) is a common Florida pine, found in almost all natural state parks. If you’ve ever driven through the Green Swamp on Highway 471 then chances are you’ve laid your eyes on a Slash Pine. This tree is known as an evergreen tree, meaning it keeps it foliage year round (with an exception to the few stray pine needles that may fall periodically). These pine trees are more tall than wide reaching on average 75 to 100-feet in height. Because the Slash Pine is more tolerant of wet soils, this is why you are likely to find this pine in swampy environments. And just in case you’re wondering, yes this tree does produce pine cones.
The Longleaf Pine
The Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) is named appropriately! The pine needles grown on this tree can grow up to 18 inches long! This pine is also commonly spotted in woodsy Florida areas, however unlike the Slash Pine prefers and really only grows in dry soil. Something this pine does have in common with the Slash Pine is its height. Longleaf Pines can grow on average to about 80 to 100-feet tall and like the Slash Pine is more tall than wide with it’s average of 3-feet in diameter trunk. Longleaf Pines have super long lifespans and can sometimes live to be over 300-years-old! There are several things that play into this pine’s lengthy life span, but one of those factors is the tree’s ability to withstand natural disasters and pests. They can withstand severe storms, tolerate wildfires and drought and resist pests better than other pines.
The Sand Pine
The Sand Pine has two different variations: The Ocala Sand Pine (Pinus clausa var. clausa) and the Choctawhatchee Sand Pine (Pinus clausa var. immuginata). Both variations of the Sand Pine are unique because they are truly Florida native pines that only grow in this state. Perhaps this makes them the most “Floridian” of all the pines found in this state! The major difference between the Ocala and Choctawhatchee variations is their cone serotiny. What does this mean? Serotinous pine cones may persist unopened on the tree for years and open only in response to forest fire. These are the kinds of pine cones found on an Ocala Sand Pine and not a Choctawhatchee. You can spot these pines growing in sandy environments typically on a dry sandy ridge or a shoreline. The Sand Pine isn’t has large as other pine trees, ranging from 30 to 80-feet in height and it’s needles aren’t as long as a Longleaf Pine’s being only 2 to 3.5 inches long. One of the great things about the Sand Pine is its resistance to drought. This tree does not need copious amounts of water in order for it to survive.
Florida Pine Trees
Like we stated earlier, there are several species of pine trees found in Florida. The Slash Pine, Longleaf Pine, and Sand Pine are three commonly seen pines in Florida. If you want to learn more about Florida pines or would like to grow one on your property, call Anglin Brothers today!