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Pinus glabra Walter

Brief Summary

    Pinus glabra: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia
    "Spruce pine" redirects here. It may also refer to the sand pine.

    Pinus glabra, the spruce pine, is a tree found on the coastal plains of the southern United States, from southern South Carolina south to northern Florida and west to southern Louisiana. This pine is a straight-growing, medium-sized species, attaining heights of 20–40 m.

    The leaves are needle-like, in bundles of two, 5–8 cm long, slender (1 mm thick), and glossy dark green. The small, slender cones are 4–6 cm long, with weak prickles on the scales that are soon shed.

    Pinus glabra differs markedly from most other pines in that it does not occur in largely pure pine forests, but is typically found as scattered trees in moist woodland habitats in mixed hardwood forest. To be able to compete successfully in such habitats, it has adapted greater shade tolerance than most other pines.


    Pinus glabra foliage and cone


    Bark of mature Pinus glabra

    Brief Summary
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Pinaceae -- Pine family

    Susan V. Kossuth and J. L. Michael

    Spruce pine (Pinus glabra), also called cedar pine, Walter pine, or bottom white pine, is a medium-sized tree that grows in limited numbers in swamps, river valleys, on hummocks, and along river banks of the southern Coastal Plain. Its wood is brittle, close-grained, nondurable, and is of limited commercial importance.

Comprehensive Description


    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    Spruce pine is found on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United
    States from southern South Carolina south to north-central and
    northwestern Florida and west to Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana
    Occurrence in North America
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Although spruce pine is considered a minor southern yellow pine species, it grows in a wide band across the South. It can be found on the low coastal areas from the valley of the lower Santee River in eastern South Carolina, south to the middle of northwest Florida, and west to the valley of Pearl River in eastern Louisiana (14). The natural range lies between latitudes 29° to 33° N. and longitudes 78° to 91° W. (2).

    - The native range of spruce pine.


    provided by eFloras
    Pinus glabra is more shade tolerant than most yellow pines. Although the trees grow large, the wood is not much valued. The species is similar in tree form to P . strobus . It resembles P . echinata in shoot and leaf but has less prickly cones and deeper green leaves.
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: frequency, seed, tree

    Spruce pine is a medium-sized, native, evergreen conifer. It usually
    grows to 90 to 100 feet (27.4-30.5 m) tall and 24 to 36 inches (61-91
    cm) in d.b.h. The national champion tree is 125 feet (38.1 m) tall.
    The needles are borne in bundles of two and are 1.6 to 4 inches (4-10
    cm) long [3,22]. The bark is relatively thin (0.25 to 0.375 inch
    [0.64-0.95 cm])[2]. The bark is smooth on young trees, later developing
    close ridges with flat plates on the lower trunk of older trees. Upper
    branches and trunks maintain the smoother bark [3,23]. The branches are
    drooping [17]. Spruce pine develops a moderately deep taproot, with
    numerous moderately deep lateral roots. It is obligately mycorrhizal;
    seedlings that fail to develop mycorrhizae usually do not survive [2,9].

    Longevity is approximately 113 years; the relatively short life span is
    probably a result of the high frequency of good seed crops [12].
    provided by eFloras
    Trees to 30m; trunk to 1m diam., straight; crown conic to rounded. Bark gray, fissured and cross-checked into elongate, irregular, scaly plates, resin pockets absent, on upper sections of trunk ± smooth, gray, looking slick. Branches whorled, spreading to ascending; twigs slender, purple-red to red-brown, occasionally glaucous, aging gray, smooth. Buds ovoid to ovoid-cylindric, red-brown, ca. 0.5--1cm, slightly resinous; scale margins finely fringed. Leaves 2 per fascicle, spreading to ascending, persisting 2--3 years, 4--8(--10)cm ´ 0.7--1.2mm, straight, slightly twisted, dark green, all surfaces with fine stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex sharply conic; sheath 0.5--1cm, base persistent. Pollen cones lance-cylindric, 10--15mm, purple-brown. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds soon thereafter, semipersistent, spreading to recurved, nearly symmetric, lance-ovoid before opening, ovoid-cylindric when open, 3.5--7cm, red-brown, aging gray, nearly sessile or on stalks to 1cm, scales lacking contrasting border on adaxial surfaces (as in P . echinata ); apophyses but slightly thickened and raised; umbo central, depressed, unarmed or with small, curved, weak, deciduous, short-incurved prickle. Seeds deltoid-obovoid; body ca. 6mm, brown, mottled darker; wing to ca. 12mm. 2 n =24.
    Physical Description
    provided by USDA PLANTS text
    Tree, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Primary plant stem smooth, Tree with bark smooth, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds 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 not blue-green, Needle-like leaves triangular, 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 missing or very weak prickle, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds brown, Seeds winged, Seeds unequally winged, Seed wings prominent, Seed wings equal to or broader than body.


    provided by Silvics of North America
    In the Southeastern United States where spruce pine grows, the climate is characterized by long, hot, humid summers and mild winters. Annual rainfall is about 1270 mm (50 in), which is normally distributed about evenly throughout the year. Fall tends to be the driest season but summer droughts can occur. The growing season is about 240 days and the average annual temperature is 16° C (61° F).

    Habitat & Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    Sandy alluvium and mesic woodland; 0--150m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., S.C.
    Habitat characteristics
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    Spruce pine grows in limited numbers in rich bottomland woods, swamps,
    and on hammocks and riverbanks. It occurs on the Coastal Plain where
    summers are long, hot, and humid; and winters are mild. Average
    rainfall is approximately 50 inches (1,270 mm) per year and generally
    evenly distributed, although fall tends to be the driest season [9].

    Spruce pine is generally found on acidic sandy loam soils that are
    intermediate between dry sandy soils and alluvial bottomland soils
    [2,12]. Spruce pine grows well on moderately to poorly drained sites
    that may have a high water table or are intermittently waterlogged [12].
    Soil orders tend to be Spodosols or Entisols [9].
    Habitat: Cover Types
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    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):

    More info for the terms: hardwood, swamp

    80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
    81 Loblolly pine
    82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
    84 Slash pine
    85 Slash pine - hardwood
    89 Live oak
    91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak
    Habitat: Ecosystem
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    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
    FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress
    Habitat: Plant Associations
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    More info on this topic.

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

    More info for the term: forest

    K089 Black Belt
    K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
    K112 Southern mixed forest
    K113 Southern floodplain forest
    Key Plant Community Associations
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    More info for the terms: association, hardwood, shrub, swamp, tree

    Spruce pine tends to be a scattered component of the overstory in
    southern mixed-hardwood forests. It is rarely found in pure stands and
    is not cited as a dominant tree in any association. Its range overlaps
    that of other pines, but it usually occurs with the following hardwood
    species: magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), American beech (Fagus
    grandiflora), gum (Nyssa spp.), hickory (Carya spp.), sweetgum
    (Liquidambar styraciflua), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera),
    water oak (Quercus nigra), Shumard oak (Q. shumardii), cherrybark oak
    (Q. pagoda), swamp chestnut oak (Q. michauxii), live oak (Q.
    virginiana), and numerous other tree and shrub species of bottomlands
    Soils and Topography
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Spruce pine grows on acidic sandy loam soils high in organic matter, intermediate between dry sandy soils and alluvial bottom land (3). It grows well on poorly drained areas, often having a high water table, that are intermittently waterlogged, and may be found along stream banks or on rich moist hummocks (6). These soils are most commonly found in the orders Spodosols and Entisols.


    Associated Forest Cover
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Spruce pine is not commonly found in pure stands. More often it is established in the shade of hardwoods such as magnolia (Magnolia spp.), gum (Nyssa spp.), hickory (Carya spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), and oak (Quercus spp.), where it may eventually overtop them. The forest cover types in which spruce pine is included (5) are Loblolly Pine-Shortleaf Pine (Society of American Foresters Type 80), Loblolly Pine (Type 81), Loblolly Pine-Hardwood (Type 82), Slash Pine (Type 84), and Slash Pine-Hardwood (Type 85). Other trees with which it is associated include pine (Pinus spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.), holly (Ilex spp.), cherry (Prunus spp.), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), red maple (Acer rubrum), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), pondcypress (Taxodium distichum var. nutans), loblolly-bay (Gordonia lasianthus), southern redcedar (Juniperus silicicola), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), redbay (Persea borbonia), and sweetleaf (Symplocos tinctoria). Shrubs and woody vine associates include beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera), inkberry (Ilex glabra), sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), Alabama supplejack (Berchemia scandens), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), poison-ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), greenbriar (Smilax spp.), blackberry (Rubus spp.), and grape (Vitis spp.).

Diseases and Parasites

    Damaging Agents
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Because spruce pine is usually found dispersed, it is less susceptible to insect and disease damage than are the other southern pines. It is immune to infection by Cronartium quercuum f. sp. fusiforme (13) and is only known to be susceptible to Cronartium comandrae when planted outside its native range. Similarly, the Nantucket pine tip moth (Rhyacionia frustrana), can cause severe damage to spruce pine planted outside its range but is not considered a problem within its range (17). A gall mite (Trisetacus floridanus), attacks terminal shoots and causes the formation of galls and shortening of the shoot. No control is known for this insect.

    Spruce pine at any age is highly susceptible to fire because of its thin bark (6.4 to 9.7 mm; 0.25 to 0.38 in). In the crown the bark is smooth and light gray, becoming darker with slightly irregular, shallow fissures with flat connecting ridges on mature boles. The ridges develop into small, closely appressed, light reddish brown scales. This finely furrowed bark is not at all plated like other southern pines but more closely resembles that of southern red oak.

General Ecology

    Fire Ecology
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    More info for the term: fire regime

    Spruce pine occurs in wet bottomlands that rarely experience fire. It
    is not well adapted to fire: the bark is thin and easily damaged, cones
    are nonserotinous, and seedling establishment is not enhanced by fire
    disturbances. McCune [14] places spruce pine in the fire resilient
    group of pines, largely due to its prolific seeding habit. It does not
    exhibit any other fire adaptations, nor is it an early colonizer of
    disturbed areas (unless provided with a shade or nurse tree).

    Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this
    species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under
    "Find FIRE REGIMES".
    Fire Management Considerations
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the term: forest

    Stoddard [20] described mixed stands of magnolia, beech, oak, and spruce
    pine that are usually clear of undergrowth due to heavy shading. He
    recommends against prescribed burning for wildlife, since even carefully
    controlled, low-severity fires do considerable harm to this type of
    Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)
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    More info for the term: phanerophyte

    Immediate Effect of Fire
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    More info for the term: severity

    Spruce pine is probably easily killed by fire at all stages of growth.
    Specific data on the severity of fire needed to kill spruce pine is
    Life Form
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the term: tree

    Plant Response to Fire
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    Spruce pine does not sprout after the top is damaged or killed [12].
    Post-fire Regeneration
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    Tree without adventitious-bud root crown
    Reaction to Competition
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Little is known about spruce pine's ability to compete for minerals and water. Although it is classed as very shade tolerant, it is a slow grower under heavy competition. When planted with sweetgum and Shumard oak (Q. shumardii) on a bottom land site near Charleston, SC, spruce pine did not perform as well as sweetgum but grew slightly better than the Shumard oak. Seedling survival following the first growing season was similar for all three species (more than 90 percent), but by the end of five growing seasons, herbaceous vine and brush competition effects were reflected in overall survival and growth. Sweetgum had a 91 percent survival and grew best (4.1 m, 13.4 ft) on this site, while Shumard oak demonstrated higher survival than did spruce pine (72 percent vs. 48 percent) but did not grow as well (1.68 m vs. 2.38 m, 5.5 ft vs. 7.8 ft) (19). Because of its shade tolerance, spruce pine may be able to compete successfully on cutover lands where other southern pines are unsuccessful (9).

    Regeneration Processes
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    More info for the terms: cone, seed

    Spruce pine is sexually mature by 10 years of age; peak cone production
    occurs between 20 and 40 years of age. Good seed crops occur frequently
    [12]. The small, winged seeds are released upon maturity and
    disseminated by wind. Seedling establishment does not appear to require
    a mineral seedbed [8,12]. Seedlings develop well in the shade of
    hardwoods or other pines, forming widespreading lateral roots near the
    surface before penetrating deeper into the soil [9].
    Rooting Habit
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Spruce pine has a moderately deep taproot augmented by numerous moderately deep lateral roots.

    Successional Status
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    More info for the terms: climax, forest, hardwood, succession

    Obligate Climax Species

    Spruce pine is very shade tolerant. Seedlings and saplings can grow
    where available light is as low as 250 foot-candles (2,778 lux) and are
    common in many parts of the southern mixed-hardwood forest where light
    intensity is less than 1000 foot-candles (11,111 lux) at noon on a
    summer day [2]. It is usually only found in late succession hardwood
    stands of magnolia, beech, or other climax species. In these stands, it
    is represented by all stages of growth [2,15,16]. Where it is found in
    younger seral stands, it has usually become established in the shade of
    loblolly or shortleaf pines [9,16]. According to Platt and Schwartz
    [24], however, spruce pine appears to capitalize on large-scale
    disturbance caused by hurricanes. They state that advance recruits in
    localized light gaps that are capable of rapid growth at high light
    intensities will capture space in the canopy following large-scale
    disruption by hurricanes. Hirsh and Platt found that age structures of
    spruce pine tend to consist of discrete age classes corresponding to
    dates of hurricanes [25].


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    More info for the term: seed

    Spruce pine pollen is released in February and March in Mississippi.
    Seed cones ripen in October of their second year, and seeds are dispersed
    in October and November [10].


    Flowering and Fruiting
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Spruce pine trees generally begin producing cones by age 10. They are most prolific between the ages of 20 to 40 years (14). The trees are monoecious, with pollen cones on weaker branches below the seed cones. First-year seed conelets appear in March in the northern parts of its distribution in Mississippi and somewhat earlier farther south.

    Seed Production and Dissemination
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Second-year cones mature during September and October and seeds are disseminated during November. When ripe, cones are green and have a specific gravity of 0.88. Test results show seeds are mature and germinable when the cones float in SAE 20-weight motor oil. Filled seeds sink in absolute ethanol, and empty or partially filled seeds float. Cleaned seeds are small, ranging from 88,180 to 114,640/kg (40,000 to 52,000/lb) and average 101,410/kg (46,000/lb). Seeds at a moisture content of between 5 and 10 percent have been stored for as long as 10 years at -17.8° to -15.0° C (0° to 5° F) and remained viable (16).

    Seedling Development
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Seeds are not highly viable if the trees are isolated and poorly pollinated. Stratification improves seed germination (11). Sixty percent germination can usually be attained after only 7 days of stratification at 4° C (39° F) (3); however, the recommended cold stratification regime is 0.6° to 5.0° C (33° to 41° F) for 28 days (16).

    Germination is epigeal (16). Seedlings develop well in shade of hardwoods and other pines, forming a wide-spreading, lateral taproot near the surface before penetrating deep into the soil (14). When it invades old or cleared fields it may become established in the shade of loblolly and shortleaf pines (10). Natural inoculation with mycorrhizae is highly beneficial to seedling establishment (3).

    Vegetative Reproduction
    provided by Silvics of North America
    There is no published information on spruce pine vegetative reproduction. The species has been used experimentally as a rootstock for loblolly pine scions. Seed cone reproduction was greater when spruce pine was the rootstock than when loblolly pine was the rootstock (15).


    Growth and Yield
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Spruce pine is one of the larger eastern North American pines, reaching a maximum of 38.1 m (125 ft) in height and 122 cm. (48 in) in d.b.h. They are full grown at 60 to 75 years, and as a scattered tree, often grow to a height of 27.4 to 30.5 m (90 to 100 ft) with a d.b.h. of 61 to 91 cm (24 to 36 in) (8). The largest living spruce pine presently recorded measures 128 cm (50.3 in) in d.b.h. and 37.5 m (123 ft) in height. In a stand environment, spruce pine self-prunes to a height of 15.2 to 18.3 m (50 to 60 ft) (14).

    Its greatest commercial importance is in Louisiana, south Alabama, and Mississippi, where 80 percent of the standing volume is found (18). Although it is not of great importance regionally, it can support a small, local forest industry. Some spruce pine has been planted on a small scale in South Carolina (4). The volume of growing stock on commercial forest land is estimated at 13 131 000 m³ (464 million ft³) and the volume of sawtimber at 56 600 000 m³ (2 billion ft³).

    Little growth and yield data are available, but estimates of different growth rates have been made on 12 trees in fast growth sites and 12 trees in slow ones within the natural range (table 1) (8).

    Table 1- Growth rate and age class for spruce pine (8) Growth rate
    and age class
    Growth rate
    Tree height yr rings/cm cm m Slow 15 3.3 12.4 11.6 30 3.7 17.0 15.4 45 3.7 26.9 20.6 Fast 15 1.8 20.3 14.9 30 1.9 30.7 21.5 45 2.1 42.9 25.5 yr rings/in in ft Slow 15 8.4 4.9 38.0 30 9.4 6.7 50.5 45 9.5 10.6 67.5 Fast 15 4.6 8.0 49.0 30 4.8 12.1 70.5 45 5.3 16.9 83.5


    provided by Silvics of North America
    Wood specific gravity showed no trends in any of the four compass directions over the range. A few trees on plots near the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts had higher specific gravities (0.44 to 0.50) than did those inland (0.40 to 0.46) (20).

    Spruce pine has been successfully crossed with shortleaf pine but only when the latter was the female parent (1). No natural hybrids have been reported.


    Management considerations
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    Spruce pine is less susceptible to insects and disease than other pines,
    largely due to its scattered occurrence [9].


    Importance to Livestock and Wildlife
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    More info for the term: cover

    Northern bobwhite and squirrels eat spruce pine seeds [22]. Most pines
    are important resources for wildlife, both for food and cover. Specific
    information on wildlife use of spruce pine is lacking.
    Other uses and values
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    Spruce pine is planted for Christmas trees [9].
    Special Uses
    provided by Silvics of North America
    Wood of this species is brittle and close-grained, has few resin canals, and is not durable (14). The average shear strength parallel to the grain exceeds that of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and loblolly pine. Other structural features are similar to white fir (Abies concolor). It is low in strength, with a specific gravity of 0.443 (20).

    The average fiber length is two-thirds of that of other southern pines but pulping characteristics are similar. It can be used as it occurs naturally for pulping operations, although use in large quantities for papermaking might require some operational changes to meet strength requirements (9).

    Spruce pine responds to treatment with paraquat by producing lightwood, that is, wood soaked with oleoresin. Its response is similar to that of slash pine, and the increase in turpentine produced is proportionately greater than the increase in resin acids (12).

    Spruce pine is planted to some extent for use as a Christmas tree. Productivity is about half that of the more popular Virginia pine, and two shearings per growing season are a necessity in southeastern Louisiana (7).

    As a member of mixed pine-hardwood communities it provides some habitat and food for wildlife.

    Wood Products Value
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    Spruce pine wood is brittle, close-grained, and not durable. It is of
    limited commercial importance but is sometimes used for lumber or pulp


    Common Names
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    spruce pine
    Walter pine
    Walter's pine
    bottom white pine
    cedar pine
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    More info for the term: natural

    The accepted scientific name for spruce pine is Pinus glabra Walt.
    There are no subspecies, varieties, or forms [13].

    Spruce pine has been artificially hybridized with shortleaf pine (P.
    echinata) [9,13]. It does not form any natural hybrids.