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Tree of the Week • Loblolly Pine

This tree is native to the east coast from New Jersey to Florida. Learn more!

Loblolly Pine

Latin Name: Pinus taeda
Loblolly Pine evergreen

Tree Description

The loblolly pine is an important American timber tree that is also cloaked in beauty during much of the year. With a natural range reaching across the southeastern United States, this pine is distinguished by its large, columnar trunk; attractive bark in broad, reddish-brown plates; and pale green needles. As one of the fastest-growing southern pines, it is used for a quick screen in many landscapes.

  • Provides quick screen in many landscapes
  • Grows quickly
  • Adaptable to a wide variety of soils
  • Is drought tolerant

Hardiness Zones

The loblolly pine can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 6–9. View Map

Mature Size

The loblolly pine grows to a height of 60–90′ and a spread of 25–35′ at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast

Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24″ per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The loblolly pine grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. While it prefers normal moisture, the tree can tolerate some flooding and moderate drought.


This tree:

  • Transplants easily.
  • Adapts well to moist soil conditions.
  • Features slender, sometimes twisted, dark yellowish-green needles that are 6-10″ long.
  • Produces dry, oval brown cones that are 3–6″ in length.
  • Is used as a quick screen in many landscapes.
  • Grows in an oval shape.
  • Loses its lower branches with age, making it useful as a shade tree.

Wildlife Value

Loblolly pines provide shelter and food for many southeastern animals, including birds such as Carolina chickadees, brown-headed nuthatches, rufous-sided towhees, northern bobwhites and wild turkeys. The seeds are also consumed by chipmunks, squirrels and other small rodents.


The loblolly is native to the east coast of North America from New Jersey to Florida and Texas. As such, it has a long history with the pioneers and is known by several other names, among them rosemary pine, old field pine, bull pine, Indian pine and longstraw pine. In the South, the name loblolly means a depression. The tree was originally observed growing in river bottoms, and that is where it acquired its principal common name. It has a tendency to take over abandoned areas, thus the name “old field”; it is extremely aromatic, which is where “rosemary” came from; and it is blessed with an extremely large trunk, suggesting the name “bull.” It was once an important lumber tree due to its abundance.


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