Overview

Brief Summary

Pinaceae -- Pine family

    Katherine K. Carter and Albert G. Snow, Jr.

    Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) has a definite place among  trees of commercial importance in spite of once being considered a "forest  weed" and called scrub pine. Also known as Jersey pine and spruce  pine, it does so well in reforesting abandoned and cutover lands that it  has become a principal source of pulpwood and lumber in the southeast.  Virginia pine is commonly a small or medium-sized tree but a record tree  has been measured with 81 cm (31.8 in) in d.b.h. and 34.7 m (114 ft) in  height.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Occurrence in North America

     AL  DE  GA  IN  KY  MD  MS  NJ  NY  NC
     OH  OK  PA  SC  TN  VA  WV

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The native range of Virginia pine extends from southern New Jersey west
to Pennsylvania and southern Ohio; south to South Carolina, northern
Georgia, northern Alabama, and northern Mississippi [12,25].  It has
also been planted in east-central Oklahoma [36].
  • 12.  Collingwood, G. H. 1937. Knowing your trees. Washington, DC: The        American Forestry Association. 213 p.  [6316]
  • 25.  Kellison, R. C.; Zobel, B. J. 1974. Genetics of Virginia pine. Res. Pap.        WO-21. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.        10 p.  [21726]
  • 36.  Muncy, Jack A. 1989. Reclamation of abandoned manganese mines in        southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. In: Walker, D. G.; Powter,        C. B.; Pole, M. W., compilers. Reclamation, a global perspective:        Proceedings of the conference; 1989 August 27-31; Calgary, AB. Edmonton,        AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council: 199-208.  [14355]

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Virginia pine generally grows throughout the Piedmont and at lower  elevations in the mountains from central Pennsylvania southwestward to  northeastern Mississippi, Alabama, and northern Georgia. It is also found  in the Atlantic Coastal Plain as far north as New Jersey and Long Island,  NY, and extends westward in scattered areas into Ohio, southern Indiana,  and Tennessee.

     
- The native range of Virginia pine.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Virginia pine is a native, medium-sized, two-needle pine.  Average
height at maturity (50 years of age) is 50 to 75 feet (15-23 m) on
better sites [7].  Its long horizontal branches are irregularly spaced
[5,19].  Open-grown trees have persistent, heavy branches to the ground
[25].  The trunk is relatively short, with an open, flat-topped crown
[12].  The needles are about 2 inches (5 cm) long.  The bark of young
stems is smooth; older stems have platy scales with shallow fissures
[14,25].  It is relatively short-lived; senescence usually occurs around
65 to 90 years.  It rarely lives beyond 150 years of age [12,14,15].  The
root system is relatively shallow except on deep sands, where the taproot
can be from 6.6 to 10 feet (2-3 m) deep [25].
  • 15.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905]
  • 5.  Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State        University Press. 362 p.  [12914]
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 19.  Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of        northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New        York Botanical Garden. 910 p.  [20329]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 12.  Collingwood, G. H. 1937. Knowing your trees. Washington, DC: The        American Forestry Association. 213 p.  [6316]
  • 25.  Kellison, R. C.; Zobel, B. J. 1974. Genetics of Virginia pine. Res. Pap.        WO-21. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.        10 p.  [21726]

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Physical Description

Tree, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds resinous, Buds not resinous, Leaves needle-like, Leaves alternate, Needle-like leaf margins finely serrulate (use magnification or slide your finger along the leaf), Leaf apex acute, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves > 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves yellow-green above, Leaves yellow-green below, Leaves not blue-green, Needle-like leaves somewhat rounded, Needle-like leaves twisted, Needle-like leaf habit erect, Needle-like leaves per fascicle mostly 2, Needle-like leaf sheath persistent, Twigs glabrous, Twigs viscid, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones orange, Woody seed cones < 5 cm long, Woody seed cones > 5 cm long, Seed cones bearing a scarlike umbo, Umbo with obvious prickle, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds brown, Seeds black, Seeds winged, Seeds unequally winged, Seed wings prominent, Seed wings equal to or broader than body.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Trees to 20 m tall; trunk to 0.5 m d.b.h. in native range; bark gray-brown, with irregular, scaly, plated ridges, reddish and scaly toward apex of trunk; crown irregularly rounded or flattened; branchlets red or purple tinged, often glaucous, aging red-brown or gray, slender, rough; winter buds red-brown, ovoid or cylindric, resinous or not, scales white fringed at margin. Needles 2 per bundle, deep to pale yellow-green, strongly twisted, 2-8 cm × 1-1.5 mm, stomatal lines present on all surfaces, inconspicuous, base with persistent sheath 4-10 mm, margin serrulate. Seed cones subsessile or shortly pedunculate (peduncle to 1 cm), dull red-brown, ovoid when open, symmetric, 3-7(-8) cm, maturing in 2 years, then soon shedding seeds. Seed scales with strong purple-red or purple-brown border adaxially distally, rigid; apophyses slightly elongated and thickened; umbo low pyramidal, with a slender, stiff prickle. Seeds pale brown, mottled darker, compressed obovoid, 4-7 mm, apex oblique; wing to 2 cm, narrow.
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Description

Trees to 18m; trunk to 0.5m diam., straight or contorted to erect or leaning; crown irregularly rounded or flattened. Bark gray-brown with irregular, scaly-plated ridges, on upper sections of trunk reddish, scaly. Branches spreading-ascending to spreading-descending; twigs slender, red- or purple-tinged, often glaucous, aging red-brown to gray, rough. Buds ovoid to cylindric, red-brown, 0.6--1cm, resinous or not resinous; scale margins white-fringed. Leaves 2 per fascicle, spreading or ascending, persisting 3--4 years, 2--8cm ´ 1--1.5mm, strongly twisted, deep to pale yellow-green, all surfaces with inconspicuous stomatal lines, margins serrulate, apex narrowly acute; sheath 0.4--1cm, base persistent. Pollen cones ellipsoid-cylindric, 10--20mm, red-brown or yellow. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds soon thereafter, persisting to 5 years, symmetric, lance-ovoid or lanceoloid before opening, ovoid when open, 3-- 7(--8)cm, dull red-brown, nearly sessile or on stalks to 1cm, scales rigid, with strong purple-red or purple-brown border on adaxial surface distally; apophyses slightly thickened, slightly elongate; umbo central, low-pyramidal, with slender, stiff prickle. Seeds compressed-obovoid, oblique apically; body 4--7mm, pale brown, mottled darker; wing narrow, to 20mm. 2 n =24.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Pinus virginiana is a species of the Piedmont and lower slopes of the Appalachian Mountain system, growing on the sea coast in the north, but only in the interior and at higher altitudes in the south of its range, up to 650 m a.s.l. The climate is humid and cool in most of its range and snowfall can be abundant at least in the northern parts. This species is naturally restricted to poorer soils and avoids calcareous substrates. It is a pioneer that now invades large tracts of abandoned farmland, invigorating its reputation as a weedy species. On these and other marginal or disturbed sites it is a shrubby tree, but it can attain taller tree stature in mixture with other trees in a forest environment. In such woods it is a minor component accompanying Quercus spp. and sometimes other species of pine e.g. P. echinata, P. rigida and P. taeda, or it is part of a mixture of oaks and pines. Other conifers locally growing with P. virginiana are Tsuga canadensis and Thuja occidentalis. In the so-called pine barrens in the NE of its range sometimes lichens (Cladina, Cladonia) and a few oak shrubs (Quercus ilicifolia) provide the only undergrowth.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: shrub

Virginia pine grows soils derived from marine deposits, crystalline
rocks, sandstones and shales, and to a lesser extent, limestone [7].
Most of these soils are well- to excessively drained, sandy, and weakly
acidic [14,19,27,29].  The best growth of Virginia pine is on clay, loam,
or sandy loam.  Growth is poor on serpentine, shallow shale, or very
sandy soils [7].  Soil pH ranges from 4.6 to 7.9.  Virginia pine occurs
at elevations from 50 to 2,500 feet (15-760 m), with hilly topography
[7,27,58].
 
Tree associates not previously mentioned include scarlet oak (Q.
coccinea), hickories (Carya ovata, C. ovalis, C. glabra), blackgum
(Nyssa sylvatica), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), eastern hemlock
(Tsuga canadensis), and eastern white pine [7,33].  There is usually a
sparse shrub understory [27].
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 19.  Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of        northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New        York Botanical Garden. 910 p.  [20329]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 27.  Landers, J. Larry. 1991. Disturbance influences on pine traits in the        southeastern United States. In: Proceedings, 17th Tall Timbers fire        ecology conference; 1989 May 18-21; Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee, FL:        Tall Timbers Research Station: 61-95.  [17601]
  • 29.  Little, Silas. 1974. Effects of fire on temperate forests: northeastern        United States. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and        ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 225-250.  [9859]
  • 33.  Martin, William H.; DeSelm, Hal R. 1976. Forest communities of dissected        uplands in the Great Valley of east Tennessee. In: Fralish, James S.;        Weaver, George T.; Schlesinger, Richard C., eds. Central hardwood forest        conference: Proceedings of a meeting; 1976 October 17-19; Carbondale,        IL. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University: 11-29.  [3810]
  • 58.  Williston, Hamlin L.; Balmer, William E. 1980. Management of Virginia        pine. Forestry Report SA-FR-7. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Area. 5 p.  [21720]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

    40  Post oak - blackjack oak
    43  Bear oak
    45  Pitch pine
    46  Eastern redcedar
    50  Black locust
    51  White pine - chestnut oak
    52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak
    53  White oak
    55  Northern red oak
    57  Yellow-poplar
    64  Sassafras - persimmon
    69  Sand pine
    70  Longleaf pine
    71  Longleaf pine - scrub oak
    75  Shortleaf pine
    78  Virginia pine - oak
    79  Virginia pine
    80  Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
    81  Loblolly pine
    82  Loblolly pine - hardwood
    83  Longleaf pine - slash pine
   108  Red maple
   110  Black oak

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Key Plant Community Associations

Virginia pine can occur in pure stands or as a member of mixed
pine-hardwood communities, particularly those with oak (Quercus spp.)
[60].  It is associated with pitch pine (P. rigida) and Table Mountain
pine (P. pungens) in the Appalachian Mountains.  On the eastern shores
of Virginia and Maryland it is associated with loblolly pine (Pinus
taeda) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). In the Peidmont region
it is associated with shortleaf pine (P. echinata) and oaks [15].

Published classifications that include Virginia pine as a dominant or
codominant species include the following:

Classification and evaluation of forest sites in the Cumberland
   Mountains [45]
Classification and evaluation of forest sites on the
   northern Cumberland Plateau [46]
Classification and evaluation of forest sites on the
   Natchez Trace State Forest [47]
Southeastern evergreen and oak-pine region [55]
Landscape ecosystem classification for South Carolina [63]
  • 15.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905]
  • 45.  Smalley, Glendon W. 1984. Classification and evaluation of forest sites        in the Cumberland Mountains. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-50. New Orleans, LA:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest        Experiment Station. 84 p.  [9831]
  • 46.  Smalley, Glendon W. 1986. Classification and evaluation of forest sites        on the northern Cumberland Plateau. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-60. New Orleans,        LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest        Experiment Station. 74 p.  [9832]
  • 47.  Smalley, Glendon W. 1991. Classification & evaluation of forest sites on        the Natchez Trace State Forest, State Resort Park, and Wildlife        Management Area in w. Tennessee. SO-85. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 73        p.  [17980]
  • 55.  Waggoner, Gary S. 1975. Eastern deciduous forest, Vol. 1: Southeastern        evergreen and oak-pine region. Natural History Theme Studies No. 1, NPS        135. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park        Service. 206 p.  [16103]
  • 60.  Zahner, Robert; Smalley, Glendon W. 1989. Site quality: the ecological        basis for pine-hardwood management decisions. In: Waldrop, Thomas A.,        ed. Proceedings of pine-hardwood mixtures: a symposium on management and        ecology of the type; 1989 April 18-19; Atlanta, GA. Gen. Tech. Rep.        SE-58. Asheville, SC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 59-63.  [10258]
  • 63.  Jones, Steven M. 1991. Landscape ecosystem classification for South        Carolina. In: Mengel, Dennis L.; Tew, D. Thompson, eds. Ecological land        classification: applications to identify the productive potential of        southern forests: Proc. of a symp; 1991 January 7-9; Charlotte, NC. Gen.        Tech. Rep. SE-68. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 59-68.  [15709]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

   FRES12  Longleaf - slash pine
   FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine
   FRES14  Oak - pine
   FRES15  Oak - hickory

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

   K083  Cedar glades
   K084  Cross Timbers
   K089  Black Belt
   K104  Appalachian oak forest
   K110  Northeastern oak - pine forest
   K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest
   K112  Southern mixed forest

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Soils and Topography

Virginia pine grows well on a variety of soils derived from marine  deposits, from crystalline rocks, sandstones, and shales, and from  limestone to a lesser extent. These are classified as Spodosols and  Inceptisols. After harvesting or fire, these soils are subject to moderate  sheet and gully erosion; erosion can become severe on shale soils. On many  areas that now support Virginia pine, much of the A horizon is gone  because of past erosion under intensive agricultural use.

    The species grows best on clay, loam, or sandy loam; it generally does  poorly on serpentine soils, shallow shaly soils, and very sandy soils. It  thrives only in moderately well drained to well drained soils and is less  tolerant of wet sites and impeded drainage than pitch and loblolly pines  (Pinus rigida and P. taeda). Virginia pine generally  tolerates soil acidities ranging from pH 4.6 to 7.9 (39). Soil beneath a  Virginia pine stand was more acidic and contained more organic matter than  soil under shortleaf (P. echinata), loblolly, or white (P.  strobus) pine stands (30).

    Virginia pine usually is found at elevations of 15 to 760 m (50 to 2,500  ft). It comes in freely on abandoned farmland throughout its range.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

The annual precipitation in the native range of Virginia pine averages  890 to 1400 mm (35 to 55 in) and is fairly well distributed throughout the  year. Rainfall generally is greatest in the southwestern portion of the  range. The climate throughout most of this area is classified as humid.

    Summer temperatures average about 21° to 24° C (70° to 75°  F); winter temperatures range from -4° to 4° C (25° to 40°  F); and the average number of frost-free days varies from more than 225 on  the eastern and southern edge of the Piedmont to 160 days on the more  mountainous areas to the west and north.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Habitat & Distribution

Dry uplands, sterile sandy or shaly barrens, old fields, and lower mountains; 0--900m; Ala., Del., Ga., Ind., Ky., Md., Miss., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va.
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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated. Jiangsu (Nanjing Shi), Jiangxi (Lu Shan) [native to E United States]
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Associations

Associated Forest Cover

Virginia pine often grows in pure stands, usually as a pioneer species  on old fields, burned areas, or other disturbed sites. It is a major  species in the forest cover types Virginia Pine-Oak (Society of American  Foresters Type 78) and Virginia Pine (Type 79) (17). It is an associate in  the following cover types: Post Oak-Blackjack Oak (Type 40), Bear Oak  (Type 43), Chestnut Oak (Type 44), White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak  (Type 52), Pitch Pine (Type 45), Eastern Redcedar (Type 46), Shortleaf  Pine (Type 75), Loblolly Pine (Type 81), and Loblolly Pine-Hardwood (Type  82).

    Other than those named in the types, species that commonly grow with  Virginia pine in various parts of its range are white oak Quercus  alba), southern red oak (Q. falcata), red maple (Acer  rubrum), hickories (Carya spp.), blackgum (Nyssa  sylvatica), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), eastern  hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), Table Mountain pine (Pinus  pungens), and eastern white pine (P. strobus).

    In central Pennsylvania, two ground-cover types serve as indicators of  site quality for Virginia pine. The flowering dogwood/clubmoss (Cornus  florida / Lycopodium) type indicates the better site indexes ranging  from 15.2 to 21.3 m (50 to 70 ft); the bear oak/reindeer moss (Quercus  ilicifolia / Cladonia) type indicates average and poor site indexes  between 9.1 to 15.2 m (30 and 50 ft) (39).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Heart rot due to Phellinus pini often  is present in stands more than 60 years old, but it is rare in stands less  than 50 years of age. In a severe case, as much as 34 percent of the trees  in a 59-year-old stand were infected (36). Partly because of its  susceptibility to heart rot, pulpwood rotations generally are preferred to  sawtimber rotations in Virginia pine.

    The other serious disease of Virginia pine is pitch canker (Fusarium  moniliforme var. subglutinans), which enters twigs or stems  through small wounds and causes a heavy exudation of pitch. The canker  enlarges rapidly and eventually girdles the twig or stem. Seedlings  infected with pitch canker have a mortality rate of about 90 percent (15).  Some variation in susceptibility to pitch canker appears to have a genetic  basis (2).

    Other diseases usually cause little loss of growth in Virginia pine.  Stem cankers (Atropellis tingens), eastern gall rust (Cronartium  quercuum), a stem rust (C. comptoniae), root rot (Heterobasidion  annosum), and butt rots (Poria subacida, Phaeolus schweinitizii)  occasionally infest Virginia pine.

    The principal forest insects that cause significant damage to Virginia  pine are the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), Ips spp.and pine sawflies, the Virginia pine sawfly (Neodiprion pratti  pratti) and the redheaded pine sawfly (N. lecontei). Trees  under stress of lightning, fire, or logging injury are more susceptible to  insect attack than sound healthy trees (39).

    The pales weevil (Hylobius pales), which feeds on and often  kills small seedlings of several pine species, can greatly reduce the  regeneration of Virginia pine. Attacks are most likely on recently cutover  areas where pine roots provide the food needed to build up a large larval  population.

    Girdling by meadow mice can cause considerable damage in young trees. In  Tennessee, they have reportedly caused heavy mortality in 8- or 9-year-old  plantations (26). In Maryland and Iowa, they have shown a strong  preference for Virginia pine over other pine species (39).

    Young Virginia pines are particularly vulnerable to fire because of  their thin bark and their lack of long-lived dormant buds at the base,  along the bole, and in the crown. Fire reduces the Virginia pine component  in stands where this species is mixed with pitch, shortleaf, or loblolly  pines.

    The species also is sensitive to several air pollutants. Of 18 pine  species tested, Virginia pine was most sensitive to ozone; 69 percent of  the seedlings suffered foliar damage. Polluted air containing sulfur  dioxide and oxides of nitrogen also reduced terminal growth, with most  damage occurring between the 4th and 13th weeks after budbreak. Dormant  seedlings are resistant to ozone pollution (14,33).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: litter, tree

Approximately one-half of the standing crop of Virginia pine needles is
shed annually.  Leaf litter produced by a 17-year-old stand was
calculated to be similar to the amount produced by longleaf pine (Pinus
palustris) [29,31,32].

Strip-clearcutting followed by broadcast burning of slash prior to
seedfall favors Virginia pine regeneration [29].

Crown fires in pine or pine-hardwood forests in which Virginia pine
occurs remove enough of the canopy for good Virginia pine regeneration.
Hot or cool surface fires do not remove sufficient canopy for good
Virginia pine regeneration [4].

Virginia pine is less resistant to fire than loblolly pine, shortleaf
pine, or pitch pine.  Fire will therefore reduce the importance of
Virginia pine in mixed stands [7].  Sapling stands are more vulnerable
to grass fires than similar-aged stands of shortleaf or loblolly pine
[18].

Thickness of Virginia pine bark was estimated at 2.7 percent of d.b.h.
[8].  Bark thickness required for 50 percent survival of Virginia pine
subjected to low-intensity fire was calculated by three models.  Using
that estimate, the length of time needed for tree growth to be
sufficient to resist fire damage was calculated as 13 years for
open-grown stands and 23 to 28 years for closed-canopy stands [24].
Virginia pine had the slowest decay rate for standing dead trees of 10
commonly associated species [23].
  • 4.  Barden, Lawrence S.; Woods, Frank W. 1976. Effects of fire on pine and        pine-hardwood forests in the southern Appalachians. Forest Science.        22(4): 399-403.  [11015]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 8.  Chamberlain, Everett B.; Meyer, H. Arthur. 1950. Bark volume in        cordwood. TAPPI. 33(11): 554-555.  [21802]
  • 18.  Georgia Chapter, Society of American Foresters. 1979. Silvicultural        guidelines for forest owners in Georgia. Georgia Forest Research Paper        6. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 23.  Harmon, Mark E. 1982. Decomposition of standing dead trees in the        southern Appalachian Mountains. Oecologia. 52: 214-215.  [13735]
  • 24.  Harmon, Mark E. 1984. Survival of trees after low-intensity surface        fires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ecology. 65(3): 796-802.        [10997]
  • 29.  Little, Silas. 1974. Effects of fire on temperate forests: northeastern        United States. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and        ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 225-250.  [9859]
  • 31.  Madgwick, H. A. I. 1968. Seasonal changes in biomass and annual        production of an old-field Pinus virginiana stand. Ecology. 49(1):        149-152.  [21799]
  • 32.  Madgwick, H. A. I. 1970. Caloric values of Pinus virginiana as affected        by time of sampling, tree age, and position in stand. Ecology. 51(6):        1094-1097.  [21798]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: fire use, prescribed fire

The Research Project Summary Early postfire response of southern Appalachian Table Mountain-pitch pine stands to prescribed fires in North Carolina and Virginia provides information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant community species, including Virginia pine, that was not available when this species review was originally written.

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: density, surface fire

Virginia pine is an aggressive invader of burned sites [37].  After a
hot surface fire in a 30-year-old pine-hardwood stand, 45 percent of all
trees died within 2 years.  There were large numbers of pine (Virginia
and loblolly pine) seedlings by 2.25 years after the fire.  Density was
10,750 per acre, compared with 250 per acre on unburned plots [10].
  • 10.  Church, Thomas W., Jr. 1955. Observations following wildfire in a young        stand of Virginia pine and hardwoods. Res. Notes No. 49. Upper Darby,        PA: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 2 p.  [11104]
  • 37.  Oosting, Henry J. 1944. The comparative effect of surface and crown fire        on the composition of a loblolly pine community. Ecology. 25(1): 61-69.        [9919]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Mature Virginia pine trees can withstand low- to moderate-severity
surface fires.  Severe fires will kill Virginia pine [9].
  • 9.  Christensen, Norman L. 1981. FIRE REGIMES in southeastern ecosystems.        In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; [and others]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the term: tree

   Tree without adventitious-bud root crown
   Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: root crown

Virginia pine is not well adapted to survive fire due to thin bark and
shallow roots [12].  Large trees however, are apparently able to survive
fires.  Virginia pine stands that include six size classes (d.b.h) have
nbeen documented.  This size distribution is apparently due to fires
that burned at approximately 20- to 30-year intervals.  The larger
trees, therefore, survived at least one fire [3].  Virginia pine
populations are maintained by fire or other disturbance; Virginia pine
is a colonizer of recently burned sites [37].  Root crown sprouts have
been reported, but are apparently not an important fire survival
mechanism [7].

FIRE REGIMES in habitats containing Virginia pine have been altered by
humans for many years.  It is thought that prior to European settlement,
Indians maintained large tracts of pine forests through intentional
burning of forest lands for various purposes (e.g., agriculture,
wildlife harvest) [9,57].  These fires created a patchwork of
communities, increasing the amount of area covered by pioneer or
pyrophytic species such as Virginia and pitch pines [57].  Currently,
lightning fires do occur, but are of low importance compared to those
started by people [9].  Landers [27] estimated the fire return interval
in the southeastern United States at approximately 2 fires of high
intensity per 100 years.  In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
Tennesee and South Carolina, fire intervals for 1856 to 1900 and for
1900 to 1940 were both estimated to be 9.2 years below 2,000 feet (610
m) elevation, and 11.3 years above that elevation [22].

Virginia pine occurs in the area in and around Shenandoah National Park,
Virginia, which has two fire seasons:  spring (February 15 to May 15) and
fall (October 15 to December 15) [57].
  • 3.  Barden, Lawrence S. 1976. Pine reproduction in the Thompson River        watershed, North Carolina. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Science        Society. 92(3): 110-113.  [21718]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 12.  Collingwood, G. H. 1937. Knowing your trees. Washington, DC: The        American Forestry Association. 213 p.  [6316]
  • 22.  Harmon, Mark. 1982. Fire history of the westernmost portion of Great        Smoky Mountains National Park. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club.        109(1): 74-79.  [9754]
  • 27.  Landers, J. Larry. 1991. Disturbance influences on pine traits in the        southeastern United States. In: Proceedings, 17th Tall Timbers fire        ecology conference; 1989 May 18-21; Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee, FL:        Tall Timbers Research Station: 61-95.  [17601]
  • 37.  Oosting, Henry J. 1944. The comparative effect of surface and crown fire        on the composition of a loblolly pine community. Ecology. 25(1): 61-69.        [9919]
  • 57.  Wilhelm, Gene. 1973. Fire ecology in Shenandoah National Park. In:        Komarek, Edwin V., Sr., technical coordinator. Proceedings, annual Tall        Timbers fire ecology conference; 1972 June 8-9; Lubbock, TX. Number 12.        Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 445-488.  [8477]
  • 9.  Christensen, Norman L. 1981. FIRE REGIMES in southeastern ecosystems.        In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; [and others]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

Obligate Initial Community Species
 
Virginia pine is an aggressive invader of burned sites [5,14,37].  It is
intolerant of shade [7,14].  Virginia pine is a transitional type, and
is usually quickly replaced by tolerant hardwoods [7].  In pioneer
stands in Virginia, Virginia pine made up to 50 percent of the total
importance value.  Its importance decreases with stand age.  Mixed stands
with white oak, yellow-poplar and sweetgum are formed by mid-succession.
Late-successional stands are dominated by oaks and hickories, with very
little Virginia pine remaining [38,50].

Virginia pine is usually well represented in early stages of oldfield
succession on dry sites [40].
  • 5.  Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State        University Press. 362 p.  [12914]
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 37.  Oosting, Henry J. 1944. The comparative effect of surface and crown fire        on the composition of a loblolly pine community. Ecology. 25(1): 61-69.        [9919]
  • 38.  Orwig, David A.; Abrams, Marc D. 1991. Effect of stand age and soils on        forest composition at Spotsylvania Battlefield, Virginia. In: McCormick,        Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central hardwood        forest conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep.        NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 591.  [15340]
  • 40.  Probst, John R. 1979. Oak forest bird communities. In: DeGraaf, Richard        M.; Evans, Keith E., compilers. Management of north central and        northeastern forests for nongame birds: Proceedings of the workshop;        1979 January 23-25; Minneapolis, MN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-51. St. Paul,        MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest        Experiment Station: 80-88.  [18080]
  • 50.  Trimble, George R., Jr.; Patric, James H.; Gill, John D.; [and others]

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Regeneration Processes

Age of sexual maturity for open-grown Virginia pine is usually around 5
years of age.  Some precocious specimens have flowered at 18 months.
Sexual maturity may be delayed for up to 50 years of age in trees in
suppressed stands [7].  Virginia pine is a prolific seed producer
[15,29].  The cones open at maturity, and persist for at least several
years [14].  Most seeds are dispersed within 100 feet (30 m) of the
parent [7].  Exposed mineral soil is required for successful seedling
establishment; little to no shade is required.  Seedlings are tolerant
of lower soil moisture than most other pines, though growth is slower on
dry sites [7].
 
Asexual regeneration:  Sprouts on cut stumps of Virginia pine have been
reported, but are usually short lived [7].
  • 15.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905]
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 29.  Little, Silas. 1974. Effects of fire on temperate forests: northeastern        United States. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and        ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 225-250.  [9859]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

  
   Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Reaction to Competition

Being intolerant of shade, Virginia  pine is a transitional type and is eventually replaced by more tolerant  hardwood species. It is a pioneer species, coming in after fire, and on  eroded areas or wornout old fields. Compared with associated pines, it is  generally more successful on poorer sites. Virginia pine seedlings cannot  become established under the shade of an existing stand, so hardwoods  invade the understory. These hardwoods become dominant and gradually take   over the area in succeeding generations, unless fire or other factors  retard them (39).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Rooting Habit

Virginia pine is a shallow-rooted species and  losses from windthrow are likely to occur if old stands are thinned  excessively (5).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Virginia pine pollen is released from March to May, depending on
latitude [7,14].  Fertilization occurs in June, 13 months after
pollination.  Seeds mature by mid- to late August.  Cones mature by late
September to early November.  Seed dispersal begins in October and is
usually complete by January [7].
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]

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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Sprout growth on Virginia pine is rare.  Occasionally, cut stubs produce a few short-lived sprouts from dormant  buds. Rooting of cuttings from 7- and 8-year-old Virginia pine is most  successful (72 percent rooted) when cuttings were taken in December and  treated with 0.2 percent indolebutyric acid before being placed in a mist  chamber (40). Cuttings from 1-year-old seedlings also can be rooted, but  those taken from mature trees fail to root (25).

    Grafting generally is about 65 percent successful when dormant scions  are grafted onto dormant rootstock. The side-veneer graft technique is  most commonly used, but other methods also are successful. Virginia pine  grafts are more susceptible to mold than grafts of the other southern  pines (25).

    Clonal plantlets can be obtained from tissue cultures when cotyledons  from Virginia pine embryos are used. However, the rooting techniques  necessary for commercial production of these plantlets have not yet been  developed (10).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Seedling Development

An exposed mineral soil seedbed is  essential for successful establishment of seedlings. In one study area in  the southern Appalachians, all regeneration of Virginia pine over a  120-year period was related to site disturbances by fires or logging (1).  Such site disturbance can result in two to four times as much germination  as on undisturbed seedbeds, and 2-year survival that is four times as  great (41).

    Exposing wet Virginia pine seeds to artificial light before sowing  greatly increases germination. Maximum germination is obtained by exposing  seeds that have been soaked in water for 24 hours to 30 minutes of red  light. The stimulus to germination by this exposure can be reversed by  treatment with far-red light (39). Germination is epigeal (35).

    Seedlings require direct sunlight for best growth. Even partial shade  reduces growth, and seedlings do not survive under full shade. Given  adequate light and a good seedbed, however, several thousand seedlings per  hectare can become established. Precommercial thinning at age 5 has been  recommended to prevent stagnation in heavily stocked seedling stands (11).

    Virginia pine seedlings grown in containers in the greenhouse can be  used to advance growth and cone production by 1 year compared to the use  of bare-root stock (6). Extra light from an incandescent source coupled  with a high level of nutrition can quadruple height growth in one season.  Long photoperiods also induce other effects such as increased internodal  length, accelerated cycles of bud formation, and breaking of bud dormancy  (39).

    The balance and relative abundance of inorganic elements in the soil  solution also are important to the establishment and growth of Virginia  pine. In basic nutrition studies in irrigated sand cultures, symptoms of  deficiency appeared when either potassium or magnesium was supplied at  0.01 milliequivalent (meq) or less per liter. Amounts adequate for healthy  height growth were 0.35 meq of calcium and 2 meq of magnesium per liter.  The adequacy level for potassium was between 0.1 and 1 meq; the minimum  levels for nitrogen and phosphorus were 1.78 and 0.03 meq, respectively  (39).

    Virginia pine seedlings are more tolerant of low soil moisture than most  other pines. Although they may survive when moisture is low, their rate of  growth is slower on dry sites. Seedlings reach a height of 10 to 20 cm (4  to 8 in) in the first year when growth conditions are favorable. At the  end of 10 years, the average height may reach 5 m (17 ft) on the better  sites.

    Many species of mycorrhizae representing nine genera (AmanitaBoletus, Cenococcum, Gomphidius, Lepiota, Paxillus, Rhizopogon, Russulaand Scleroderma) are known to form associations with the roots  of Virginia pine (23).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

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Seed Production and Dissemination

Open-grown trees often  produce cones as early as 5 years of age, and a few trees have been known  to flower at 18 months (3). In dense stands, cone production can be  delayed for as many as 50 years. As stands become more open, cone  production is accelerated (36). Virginia pine produces some seed each  year, with heavy cone crops occurring at intervals of 3 or more years.  Good cone crops can be produced in 2 successive years, however, and peak  seed years do not necessarily coincide throughout the range. Early cone  production is under strong genetic control and can be increased by family  selection or fertilization (7,9).

    Seed dispersal starts in October and is complete within 3 months, though  some seeds may continue to be released until the following spring. Most of  the seeds fall within 30 m (100 ft) of trees with an average height of 18  m (60 ft); however, stocking often is adequate at greater distances,  particularly on the lee side of a seed source. In the coastal plain of  Maryland, seedfall was measured on a 40-meter-wide (132 ft) strip cut  through Virginia pine. Over a 4-year period, seedfall per hectare ranged  from 15,800 to 98,800 (6,400 to 40,000/acre) (18). The number of clean  seeds per kilogram ranges from 100,750 to 200,800 (45,700 to 91,100/lb);  the average is 122,100 (55,400/lb) (35).

    Seed and cone insects can severely reduce the yield of viable seed. Seed  yields from cones from which insects were excluded by wire screens were  twice as high as those from unprotected cones (8). Major insect pests are  two types of seedbugs: the shieldbacked pine seedbug (Tetyra  bipunctata) and the southern pine seedbug (Leptoglossus corculus).  Several types of coneworms (Dioryctria spp.) and cone  borers (Eucosma spp.) also infect Virginia pine. The  Virginia pine sawfly (Neodiprion pratti pratti) and Nantucket pine  tip moth (Rhyacionia frustrana) can destroy young conelets (16).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

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Flowering and Fruiting

Virginia pine is monoecious. Pollen  shedding and female cone receptivity begin about the middle of March in  the southern part of the species range, and as late as the latter part of  May in the northern part. Virginia pine is wind pollinated and primarily  outcrossing, though self-fertilization is possible. Fertilization takes  place in early June some 13 months later, when the cones have nearly  reached full size. Seeds become viable by middle to late August of the  year after pollination but are difficult to extract before cone  maturation, which occurs from late September to early November. Unlike  many other pines, Virginia pine produces cones in all parts of the crown.  Empty cones usually persist on the tree for several years and can remain  for as many as 15 years.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Katherine K. Carter

Source: Silvics of North America

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Growth

Growth and Yield

On average sites, well-stocked stands can have  as many as 3,950 stems per hectare (1,600/acre) at 20 years of age. The  number drops to about 500/ha (200/acre) in 70-year-old stands. The site  index for Virginia pine is the average height of dominant trees measured  at age 50 years. In North Carolina, the average merchantable volume per  hectare for site index 18.2 m (60 ft) land is 112 m³ (1,600 ft³/acre)  at 20 years and 354 m³ (5,050 ft³/acre) at 70 years (36).  Volumes for Maryland are intermediate between the higher values for North  Carolina and the lower values for Pennsylvania. In a regional study  extending from Maryland to South Carolina, merchantable volumes per  hectare for fully stocked, pure, 60-year-old stands ranged from 155 m³/ha  (2,210 ft³/acre) for site index 16.8 m (55 ft) land to 602 m³/ha  (8,600 ft³/acre) for site index 24.4 m (80 ft) land (31).

    On the best sites, trees can reach a height of 37 m (120 ft) at  maturity, but the average height ranges from 15 to 23 m (50 to 75 ft) at  age 50. An annual growth rate of 6 m³/ha (1 cord/acre) is possible  over a large portion of its natural range.

    Because Virginia pine is shallow rooted and subject to windthrow and to  damage from ice and snow, thinning is not recommended in older stands. In  one thinned 17-year-old stand the diameter growth of trees was 50 percent  greater than that of controls; however, there was no overall stand  response because of frequent windthrow in the thinned stand. Windthrow is  not serious in younger stands, which can be thinned safely, but the growth  response in these stands may not be sufficient to replace the volume  removed by the thinning (19).

    Virginia pine planted on old fields grows well. One plantation in Iowa  had a mean annual height growth of 0.6 m (1.9 ft) after 15 years. This  growth was better than that of five other pine species planted on the same  sites. The mean annual diameter growth was 8.6 mm (0.34 in) during the  same period (39). Plantations in the Cross Timbers area of Oklahoma  survived well when moisture was adequate during the year of establishment  (32). In the Cumberland Plateau, planted Virginia pine on site index 21.2  m (70 ft) produced a merchantable volume of approximately 140 m³/ha  (2,000 ft³/acre) at age 20 (37).

    In central Tennessee, Virginia pine outperforms shortleaf and loblolly  pines on dry ridges and on warm slopes with shallow soil (38). On these  sites it is estimated to produce approximately 56 m³ more per hectare  (800 ft³ or 4,000 fbm/acre) than shortleaf pine, on a 50-year  rotation (22). On good sites in the Piedmont or on cove sites in the  southern Appalachians, however, growth of Virginia pine is inferior to the  other southern pines. Natural pruning in Virginia pine is slow because the  branches are resinous.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Population Differences    Most of the variation in Virginia pine is attributable to differences  among individual trees or stands rather than to geographic origin, though  it is suspected that populations in the Talladega Mountains of central  Alabama and on the deep sands of the mid-Atlantic Coast are distinct  ecotypes (25). A range-wide sample of 2,114 trees revealed no evidence of  north-south or east-west trends in specific gravity (unextracted wood)  (12). In studies of six wood properties of mature Virginia pine in  Kentucky and Tennessee, variation usually was greater within a stand than  among stands. However, tracheid length increased from south to north  within this region (42). Progeny tests of trees from the same locations  also revealed significant variation in monoterpene content and in stem  volume at age 5. This variation was attributable to difference among  stands and among individual trees within stands (29,34). These and other  progeny tests indicate that tree improvement programs for Virginia pine  can significantly improve the stem form and growth rate.

    Seeds from local sources or from locations with a climate similar to  that of the planting site generally produce trees with the best survival  and growth rates. Seed from southern provenances produce fast-growing  trees on southern sites, but southern trees grow slowly and suffer winter  injury when planted in the north (20,21).

    Hybrids    Hybrids of Virginia pine and Ocala sand pine (Pinus clausa var.  clausa) can be made under controlled conditions with either  species as the seed parent. Controlled crosses of P. virginiana with  jack pine (P. banksiana) and lodgepole pine (P. contorta) have  not been successful (25).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pinus virginiana

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinus virginiana

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 27
Specimens with Barcodes: 31
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.

Contributor/s

Justification

Pinus virginiana's very large extent of occurrence and its increase in recent decades on abandoned farmland indicate an assessment of Least Concern.

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Population

Population
The population is dramatically increasing on abandoned farmland in much of its range.

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats
No specific threats have been identified for this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species occurs in several protected areas within its range.
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Management considerations

Virginia pine can produce good yields on sites that are marginal for
loblolly pine.  Yields and performance vary with seed source [25,49].

Virginia pine is best managed with even-aged silvicultural systems.
Strip and patch cutting in short rotations are successful techniques for
harvest and regeneration of Virginia pine [18,50,58].  The transition
from mostly pure Virginia pine stands to oak-pine or oak-hickory (Carya
spp.) can be hastened by harvesting techniques [50,58].

Results of plantation trials of Virginia pine in the Cross Timbers area
of Oklahoma varied with moisture availability; survival rates are mostly
very high.  Virginia pine, therefore, has good potential for
reforestation projects in this area [39]. 

Virginia pine is a common woody competitor of loblolly pine in
plantations [35].

It is recommended that old, decaying trees be left standing near the
margins of clearcuts for woodpecker nest sites [7].
 
Virginia pine can be propagated by grafting, and can be rooted from
cuttings [7].

Principal diseases of Virginia pine include heart rot and pitch canker.
Principal insect pests include the southern pine beetle, Ips spp.,
Virginia pine sawfly, redheaded pine sawfly, and pales weevil.  Meadow
mice may girdle young trees [7].  Virgina pine is resistant to damage
by ozone [13,20].
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 13.  Davis, D. D.; Umbach, D. M.; Coppolino, J. B. 1981. Susceptibility of        tree and shrub species and response of black cherry foliage to ozone.        Plant Disease. 65(11): 904-907.  [12517]
  • 18.  Georgia Chapter, Society of American Foresters. 1979. Silvicultural        guidelines for forest owners in Georgia. Georgia Forest Research Paper        6. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 20.  Hacker, David; Renfro, James. 1992. Great Smoky Mountain plants studied        for ozone sensitivity. Park Science. 12(1): 6-7.  [17788]
  • 25.  Kellison, R. C.; Zobel, B. J. 1974. Genetics of Virginia pine. Res. Pap.        WO-21. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.        10 p.  [21726]
  • 35.  Miller, James H.; Zutter, Bruce R.; Zedaker, Shepard M.; [and others]
  • 39.  Osterhaus, Cary A.; Lantz, Clark W. 1978. Pine plantations on the cross        timbers area of Oklahoma. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 2(3):        90-93.  [10164]
  • 49.  Talbert, John; White, Gordon; Webb, Charles. 1980. Analysis of a        Virginia pine seed source trial in the Interior South. Southern Journal        of Applied Forestry. 4(3): 153-156.  [6844]
  • 50.  Trimble, George R., Jr.; Patric, James H.; Gill, John D.; [and others]
  • 58.  Williston, Hamlin L.; Balmer, William E. 1980. Management of Virginia        pine. Forestry Report SA-FR-7. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Area. 5 p.  [21720]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

Virginia pine is planted for Christmas trees [7,14].
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the term: natural

Within its natural range, Virginia pine is often a pioneer on mined
soils [61].  Virginia and loblolly pines have naturally reforested some
surface coal mines in Alabama, and are substantial producers of
commercial softwoods [30].  Natural revegetation on manganese mine
spoils in Virginia and Tennessee includes Virginia pine.  It is widely
planted in the middle and southern Appalachian region on surface coal
mine spoils, and has good potential for revegetation of other disturbed
sites [6,34,36,54].

Virginia pine is adapted to a wide range of mined soils and performs
well on acidic and droughty sites [61].  On dark-colored coal mine wastes
in Pennsylvania, Virginia pine was more resistant to heat damage than
eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), Scotch pine (P. sylvestris) or jack
pine (P. banksiana).  Plantings of Virginia pine outside its native
range are usually invaded by hardwoods within 15 to 20 years [61].

Performance of Virginia pine on surface coal mine spoils varies with
planting conditions and post-planting environmental conditions
[42,53,54,59,62].
  • 6.  Brothers, Timothy S. 1988. Indiana surface-mine forests: historical        development and composition of a human-created vegetation complex.        Southeastern Geographer. 28(1): 19-33.  [8787]
  • 30.  Syle, E. S., Jr.; Janes, D. J.; Hicks, D. R.; Weingartner, D. H. 1976.        Some vegetation and soil characteristics of coal surface mines in        Alabama. In: Proceedings, 4th symposium on surface mining and        reclamation; 1976 October 19-21; Louisville, KY. Washington, DC:        National Coal Association: 140-156.  [20684]
  • 34.  McMinn, James W.; Crane, Walter H. 1984. Five-year performance of        selected woody species on an upper coastal plain spoil bank. Southern        Journal of Applied Forestry. 8(4): 207-209.  [21721]
  • 36.  Muncy, Jack A. 1989. Reclamation of abandoned manganese mines in        southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. In: Walker, D. G.; Powter,        C. B.; Pole, M. W., compilers. Reclamation, a global perspective:        Proceedings of the conference; 1989 August 27-31; Calgary, AB. Edmonton,        AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council: 199-208.  [14355]
  • 42.  Ringe, James M. 1979. Effects of bark mulch, fertilization, and        herbaceous cover on survival and growth of three tree species on eastern        Kentucky mine spoil. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky. 74 p.        Thesis.  [18689]
  • 53.  Vogel, Willis G. 1973. The effect of herbaceous vegetation on survival        and growth of trees planted on coal-mine spoils. In: Research and        applied technology symposium on mined-land reclamation: Proceedings;        [Date of conference unknown]
  • 54.  Vogel, Willis G. 1977. Revegetation of surface-mined lands in the East.        In: Forests for people: A challenge in world affairs: Proc. of the        Society of American Foresters 1977 national convention; 1977 October        2-6; Albuquerque, NM. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters:        167-172.  [9949]
  • 59.  Wittwer, Robert F. 1981. Reclamation systems for returning surface mine        lands to a forest land use. In: Land-use allocation: processes, people,        politics, professionals: Proc., 1980 conven. of the Soc. of Amer. For.;        [Date of conference unknown]
  • 61.  Vogel, Willis G. 1981. A guide for revegetating coal minespoils in the        eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-68. Broomall, PA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 190 p.  [15577]
  • 62.  Vogel, Willis G.; Curtis, Willie R. 1978. Reclamation research on coal        surface-mined lands in the humid east. In: Schaller, Frank W.; Sutton,        Paul, eds. Reclamation of drastically disturbed lands. Madison, WI:        American Society of Agronomy: 379-397.  [21801]

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Nutritional Value

The nutrient content (percent dry weight) of Virginia pine foliage was
reported as follows [44]:

Ca        0.55
Mg        0.08
P         0.10
K         0.32
lignin   33.6
  • 44.  Sharpe, D. M.; Cromack, K., Jr.; Johnson, W. C.; Ausmus, B. S. 1980. A        regional approach to litter dynamics in Southern Appalachian forests.        Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 10: 395-404.  [8146]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Virginia pine seeds are an important food source for many small mammals
and birds, including northern bobwhites [14,52].  Virginia pine forms
good nesting sites for woodpeckers due to a preponderance of softened
wood in older trees [7].  When used for revegetation of mine spoils,
Virginia pine has high value for wildlife cover and food [61].  It
provides browse for white-tailed deer, and probably for other animals as
well [52].

Virginia pine forests are the second highest producers of choice browse
for white-tailed deer in the Oconee National Forest, Georgia [21].
Young Virginia pine stands provide good habitat for rabbits, northern
bobwhite, and many nongame birds.  Mature stands with a sparse shrub
layer are less valuable habitat [50].
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 21.  Harlow, Richard F.; Shrauder, Paul A.; Seehorn, Monte E. 1975. Deer        browse resources of the Oconee National Forest. Res. Pap. SE-137.        Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 16 p.  [14602]
  • 50.  Trimble, George R., Jr.; Patric, James H.; Gill, John D.; [and others]
  • 52.  Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States,        their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture. 362 p.  [4240]
  • 61.  Vogel, Willis G. 1981. A guide for revegetating coal minespoils in the        eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-68. Broomall, PA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest        Experiment Station. 190 p.  [15577]

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Wood Products Value

More info for the term: fuel

Virginia pine was previously used only for mine props, railroad ties,
rough lumber, fuel, tar, and charcoal.  It currently has little
importance for lumber, but is becoming more important as a pulpwood
species, especially through the reforestation of abandoned agricultural
lands, cutover, and mined sites [7,14,54].  Several thousand acres of
land are planted in Virginia pine annually [25].
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 7.  Carter, Katherine K.; Snow, Albert G., Jr. 1990. Pinus virginiana Mill.        Virginia pine. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric.        Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service: 513-519.  [13411]
  • 25.  Kellison, R. C.; Zobel, B. J. 1974. Genetics of Virginia pine. Res. Pap.        WO-21. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.        10 p.  [21726]
  • 54.  Vogel, Willis G. 1977. Revegetation of surface-mined lands in the East.        In: Forests for people: A challenge in world affairs: Proc. of the        Society of American Foresters 1977 national convention; 1977 October        2-6; Albuquerque, NM. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters:        167-172.  [9949]

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Special Uses

Of the southern conifers, Virginia pine is most preferred as a Christmas  tree. If families with desirable traits are selected and appropriate  cultural practices are used, marketable Christmas trees can be produced in  as few as 3 years, although the usual rotation age for Virginia pine  Christmas trees is 5 to 10 years (4,24).

    In the Eastern and Central States, Virginia pine performs well when  planted on strip-mined sites. In a study in West Virginia, Virginia pine  survived well, grew quickly, and encountered no serious pests 14 years  after being planted on a mined site (43). It is also a satisfactory  species for the reclamation of spoil banks in the Southeast (27).

    Because the wood of older trees is frequently softened by fungal decay,  Virginia pine provides nesting habitat for woodpeckers. Leaving old,  decayed trees near the margins of clearcuts provides nesting sites (13).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Wikipedia

Pinus virginiana

Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine, scrub pine, Jersey pine) is a medium-sized tree, often found on poorer soils from Long Island in southern New York south through the Appalachian Mountains to western Tennessee and Alabama.[2] The usual size range for this pine is 9–18 m, but can grow taller under optimum conditions. The trunk can be as large as 0.5 m diameter. This tree prefers well-drained loam or clay, but will also grow on very poor, sandy soil, where it remains small and stunted. The typical life span is 65 to 90 years. The leaf type is simple. There are also some nice cultivated specimens of Pinus virginiana in the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts.

The short (4–8 cm), yellow-green needles are paired in fascicles and are often twisted. Pinecones are 4-7 cm long and may persist on the tree for many years, often (though not always) releasing their seeds in the second year. In growth habit, some trees may be inclined with twisted trunks.

This pine is useful for reforesting and provides nourishment for wildlife. Its other main use is on Christmas tree farms[citation needed], despite having sharp-tipped needles and yellowish winter color. It also can provide wood pulp and lumber. Like some other southern yellow pines, Virginia Pine lumber case hardens. That is it becomes very hard over time during wood drying. Wood from Virginia pine is not normally considered to resist rot unless treated with preservatives.

Conservation status[edit]

It was classed as "near threatened" by the IUCN Red List, based on a 1998 assessment.[3] However, a 2011 accessment upgraded its status to "least concern".[1] In New York it is listed as endangered.[4]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Farjon, A. (2013). "Pinus virginiana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 69. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 
  3. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Pinus virginiana. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  4. ^ http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PIVI2
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Notes

Comments

Pinus virginiana is weedy and fire successional and often forms large stands. It is mostly too small and too profusely branched to be valued except as pulpwood.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

Virginia pine
scrub pine
Jersey pine
spruce pine
possum pine
shortstraw pine
poverty pine
oldfield pine

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The currently accepted name of Virginia pine is Pinus virginiana Mill.
There are no accepted subspecies, varieties, or forms [14,23,25].
  • 14.  Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern        United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p.        [12764]
  • 23.  Harmon, Mark E. 1982. Decomposition of standing dead trees in the        southern Appalachian Mountains. Oecologia. 52: 214-215.  [13735]
  • 25.  Kellison, R. C.; Zobel, B. J. 1974. Genetics of Virginia pine. Res. Pap.        WO-21. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.        10 p.  [21726]

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