Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Shortleaf Pine, Yellow Pine, Spruce Pine

Shortleaf Pine, Yellow Pine, Spruce Pine

Pinus echinata

Full sun preferred but tolerates partial shade; medium to dry moisture level; prefers sandy soil but tolerates a range of soils including rocky, sandy loam, and medium loam; acidic pH.

50-60 feet height by 20-35 feet spread; very inconspicuous light green to red female flowers and red male flowers in early spring; cylindrical, brown cones, 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches long, in fall.

Growth Rate: Fast

Maintenance: Few insect or disease problems. Fertilize 3 times per year with lawn fertilizer at 3:1:2 ratio. Prune as needed to maintain shape.

Propagation: Seed germination code A

Native Region: Scattered statewide

Large, evergreen tree with a broad, open crown. Most widely distributed of the southern yellow pines and the hardiest and most adaptable of the southern pines. Important timber species. However not noted for its ornamental value and is best used in a naturalized setting. Quilt-like, scaly, reddish-brown bark of mature trees is its most striking feature. Forms a deep taproot so somewhat difficult to transplant. An 8 year old tree may have a 14 foot taproot. Cones usually not produced until 20 years of age. Native to dry, sandy, acidic soils of rocky, wooded ravines, bluffs and upland areas. Drought tolerant.

Attracts butterflies and is larval host for the Elfin butterfly. Provides cover and nesting sites for birds. Seeds attract small mammals and some birds.


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