Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge - Longleaf Piney Woods and Loblolly Pine Tree Farms


A Longleaf Pine forest, by Beth Maynor Young 2012

Did you ever climb trees when you were young? I once climbed a Loblolly, but only made it 3/4 of the way up because the three swayed so much I was frightened it would break. Ha! If I'd only known just how strong it was...
The Longleaf Pine is native to Florida, and other parts of the southeastern US. It is a much slower growing pine than the Loblolly or Slash Pine and therefore has lost most of its habitat. The faster growing Loblolly is what is found in over half of the southern tree farms now, which take up 29 million acres.
I prefer the look of the Longleaf and was pleased to find a website dedicated to the promotion, restitution of habitat, and well being of the tree. As a native Floridian, native plant species are important to me. We have so many invasive plants that have taken hold of the landscape and changed it, for good or bad. Loblolly Pine is native as well, but was not as all-pervasive as it is now. 

Some fun trivia: Loblolly pine is the first among over 100 species of Pinus to have its complete genome sequenced. As of March 2014 it is the organism having the largest sequenced genome size. Its genome with 20.15 billion base pairs is seven times larger than that of humans. (from Wikipedia)

Longleaf from the air

Old Longleaf

A good sized, medium Loblolly pine

Loblolly needles

Longleaf needles

Sunset Longleaf stand

A Loblolly Tree Farm

When first settled, piney woods were a mainstay of agriculture in the southeast, for building ships, furniture, homes and many other things European humans needed. And piney woods have gone on to become one of the dominate producers, even giving cotton a run for its money. But animals use them too, dead and alive, for food, shelter, and nesting. Birds, deer, squirrels and smaller mammals all depend on piney woods for their survival.
Loblolly timber
 Take a look at this video and it will give you an idea of just what a
precious resource Longleaf Pine forests were and still are…

For more information:

 Images from:



  1. I'm in Washington so this to me is a wonderful post!!! Ha!!

  2. Great post. We do not see many pines in Pune, India but I have seen many pines in South Carolina. They looked beautiful and stately and with so many trees around, the air was filled with a distinct fragrance of their leaves. Absolutely wonderful.

  3. You've taught me today, Lisa - great post!

  4. Those are big trees. We only had apple and pear trees in the garden when I was of a tree climbing age and thanks to my ankle condition I never made it past the first branches. I did end up hanging under one branch when I was about five - my woollen tights got caught as I slid off and I just hung there :)
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  5. We have white and Austrian Pines around here but most of them have succumbed to disease over the last few years.

  6. Living in the pines of SE Texas here! We sit atop of the Jack Gore Baygall unit of the Big Thicket National Preserve. Hubby's grandfather bought 450+ acres when he came to Texas. Kept cattle. Their old dipping vat is down there in the preserve.
    Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops
    with the A to Z Challenge

  7. Ooh I love the photo of the old Longleaf. Gorgeous!
    I never knew the names of either of these trees. The loblolly makes me chuckle. :D

  8. I saw what must have been some Loblolly pines during my last trip to Florida (my stepson lives there). I asked about the tree since it caught my eye, but no one could tell me what it was.

  9. Longleaf Pine Forest looks neat. I'd love to take a hike through there. With my camera, of course. :)

    Pine trees are the popular tree in Florida, that's for sure.

  10. Here is what my mother had to say when she read this post. "Great info here. Thanks...I always loved hanging out clothes on the line in fla and watching the sun filter thru the long leaf pines, they sparkled like diamonds down ea needle ...always a breeze and so uplifting to my day. A chance to be outside when you guys were little. m

  11. Beautiful pics! I do love trees. I climbed them all the time when I was a kid.

  12. I must have driven past these species of trees (with its unfortunate Latin name!!) a gazillion times and had no clue what it was called until now :)

    Would be curious to know how it came to be known as a Loblolly... but that's just me :)

    PS: thanks for stopping by and I *was* in pain... it was cold that day (relatively speaking.... bunch of locals walking around in light jackets and me all bundled up like I'm off to the Artic :)

  13. I love trees. What gorgeous photos these are!

  14. I could say Loblolly all day and probably will after reading your post. Beautiful pine forest!

  15. I need to do some research here. It seems to me that both Canada and the States are covered in pine trees. I know North Carolina has masses of loblolly pines but don't know about Long Leaf, never heard of it before. I just can't imagine the necessity of having plantations for these trees.

  16. Great post. I love the conifer forests around our valley. Wonderful place to walk and think. :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  17. Those pine needles are really long. I've seen those endless pine forests in Florida. We don't have anything like that around here.

  18. That's really cool. Hadn't heard of that kind of tree before. I guess all the pines near me are the short kind. :)

  19. We have Longleafs here, especially when you get closer to the coast. Maybe it's because they fare best when strong winds come?

  20. Hi Lisa ... great information and in the video too - humans need so much wood - ours were stripped by the time of Henry VIII .. but beautiful flora and fauna you've got here .. I love the word Lolbolly ... while if it's good to keep the native plants and get rid of the invasives .. so difficult to control once in situ. I love reading your comment on your mother's reflection .. you parents must be enjoying this series .. cheers Hilary

  21. When we first moved here, we had one lone pine in the front yard. Over the years, several came up in the flower bed and we transplanted them to the back yard. They are all now as big as that first pine. I think they are Loblolly pines. Their yellow blooms are releasing pollen everywhere at the moment.

    1. I have to wipe down the furniture on the back porch each day if I want to sit out there because of the pollen! Yellow is not my favorite color at this time of year!

  22. Great topic for the day. Always nice to read about something new. And I love reading about flora. The video was a real treat and I loved all the animals showcased towards the ending of the video.

  23. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Now this is a great blog. Love the presentation, clarity, uncluttered look. Wonderful photographs to support your post. This is why the #Challenge is such a great opportunity to find something worthwhile. Congratulations.

  24. Hello Lisa. I see you're doing fine with the challenge. Halfway through already! Where would we be without the humble pine. We have lots of pine forests in Australia as pine is such an important, fast-growing timber for house building and furniture etc.

    Keep chippin' away!

    Denise :-)

  25. I loved climbing trees when I was growing up. I really enjoyed this post and the pictures you shared are just beautiful. I spend as much time as I can out in the woods hiking and taking in the scenery. Thanks for sharing this special tree with us.

  26. I love trees and I have not heard of this tree but it is quite striking. That one picture seen from the air is striking. It has a ghostly quality to it

  27. You were a pretty good and brave tree climber to shimmy up a tree like that. I climbed trees until my late 20s, but always ones with crooks that I could easily pull myself up.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder
    Take 25 to Hollister

  28. I used to climb trees in our garden and farm at granny's place, as a kid, but they were not as call tall as the pine trees. Thanks for an interesting and an insightful post, Lisa :)
    Co-Host AJ's wHooligan for the A to Z Challenge 2015

  29. Learned something new today. We mostly get radiata pine here in NZ.
    Suzy - Love Misplaced


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