shortleaf pine
Pinus echinata

Secondary Names:
shortleaf yellow pine

Leaf Type: Evergreen
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A tall, slender pine reaching a height of about 100 feet and trunk diameters to 2 feet or more, with a rather short, oval crown.

Range/Site Description:

Occurs on well-drained uplands in East Texas, growing in pure stands or mixed with hardwoods. It is most common in the hilly portions of Northeast Texas, but is also mixed with loblolly or longleaf pines in other parts of the Pineywoods.


Needles in bundles of 2 (sometimes 3), 3" to 5" long, slender, flexible, and dark blue-green.


Male conelets appear in early spring as yellow-brown or purplish clusters, 0.75" long, at the ends of branchlets; female conelets are ros-colored, oval shaped, on a short stalk.


A woody cone -- the smallest of the Texas pines -- 1.5" to 2.5" long, egg-shaped, with small, sharp prickles and a pair of winged seeds at the base of each scale. The cones are usually clustered, require two years to mature, and often persist on the twigs for several years.


Thick, brownish-red, and broken into irregular, flattened plates that are divided by dark fissures. The bark is thinner and lighter-colored than that of loblolly pine.


Wood is rather heavy and hard, yellow-brown or orange, fine-grained, and less resinous than that of the other important Southern pines. It is used for general construction, exterior and interior finishing, planing-mill products, veneer, cooperage, boxes, crates, agriculture implements, low-grade furniture, posts, poles, and woodenware.

Similar Species:

Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) is a small, dark pine often planted as Christmas trees; loblolly pine (P. taeda) has longer needles in bundles of 3 and larger cones.

Interesting Facts:

Unlike the other southern pines, young shortleaf pine trees may sprout from the base after fires or mowing.

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