The pinus taeda, or as it is more commonly known, the loblolly pine tree, can be found growing along the eastern coast of the United States, from New Jersey to Florida and across to Texas.
Also known as the Arkansas Pine, North Carolina Pine and Oldfield Pine, the loblolly is the principal commercially grown southern pine tree and features an open, rounded crown. You can also easily recognize a loblolly by its large trunk, reddish-brown bark and its needles, which are a pale green in color. Most commonly found in lowlands or swampy areas, the loblolly tree thrives in the full sun and in the acidic clay soil that is common to the southern United States. It is a relatively rapid grower and can add 24 inches to its height each year. With lumber that is both yellowish and resinous, the loblolly can also be found growing commercially on large tree farms throughout the south.
Lumber from the loblolly is most commonly used for roof trusses, joists, subflooring and sheathing.
Extremely aromatic with a large trunk, a fully grown loblolly can reach from 98 to 115 feet in height and a circumference of 1.3 to 4.9 feet, making it the largest of the southern pine trees. Its needles come in groups of three, are sometimes twisted and can grow from 4.7 to 8.7 inches in length.
The loblolly's seed cones are green and change to a pale brown when they are mature.
The needles of the loblolly pine tree are what make it an evergreen. They usually stay attached and don't fall until the autumn or winter of their second year.
The loblolly is most often susceptible to damage caused by fusiform and heart rot. However, the bark of the loblolly is thick, which helps to protect the tree against damage caused by wildfires.
Other benefits of the loblolly pine include:
1)Transplanting is a breeze. The loblolly pine is hardy moves easily from location to location.
2)It also adapts easily to wet soil conditions, so you don't have to worry about over-watering or an abundance of rain.
3)Can be used as a quick screen virtually anywhere in your landscape.
4) As the tree ages, it begins to lose its lower branches, making it a great shade provider.
The loblolly pine also provides both a habitat and food for an abundance of wildlife in the southeastern United States, including the Carolina chickadee, nuthatches, squirrels and other small rodents.
The loblolly is also the first species of the pinus to have its entire genome mapped. With more than 20 billion base pairs, its genome sequence is seven times larger than that of man.