Shortleaf Pine

Shortleaf Pine

Reference: Pinus Echinata (Shortleaf Pine) | NPIN. https://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=17780. Accessed 6 Aug. 2018.

Latin (group) name: Pinus
Latin (specific) name: Pinus Echinata (Miller)
Average max height: 80' to 100'
Average diameter: 2' to 3'
Associated state: Arkansas
Category: American Woods
The Softwoods - Conifers

The Tree

Shortleaf Pine is one of the four most important hard pines of the southeastern states. It resembles Ponderosa Pine because of its cinnamon-red or yellow-tinged bark broken by large scales and character of the wood. It is, however, a much smaller tree attaining heights of from 80 to 100 feet and diameters from two to three feet. It has long sturdy limbs, and a high clear slightly tapering trunk. The needles are blue-green, slender, three to five inches long and grow in bundles of two or three which remain on the tree two to five years. The prickly egg-shaped cones are a dull brown and only one and a half to two inches long, the smallest of any of the southern pines. A peculiarity of this species is the ability of the younger trees to put forth sprouts from the stump. The tree suffers greatly from forest fire damage, is very susceptible to “Bed Heart” and other fungus diseases, attack of the Southern Pine beetle, the pine sawyer, and Nantucket tip moth. However, the tree grows rapidly and finds favor for ornamental purposes. The Pine is the official State tree of Arkansas, but no particular species is stated. The Shortleaf Pine is a prominent tree growing in that State.

short leaf pine cones
Short Leaf Pine cones
short leaf pine bark
Short Leaf Pine bark

Common Names in Use

  • Shortleaf Pine (Va., Md., Ga., trade)
  • Arkansas Shortleaf Pine (trade)
  • Arkansas Soft Pine (trade)
  • Bull Pine (Va.)
  • Carolina Pine (N.C. and Va. in part)
  • Forest Pine (N.C.)
  • North Carolina Pine (N.C. and Va. in part; trade)
  • North Carolina Yellow Pine (N.C. and Va. in part)
  • Oldfield Pine (N.C., Ala., Miss.)
  • Pitch Pine (Mo.)
  • Poor Pine (Fla.)
  • Rosemary (La., Tex.)
  • Rosemary Pine and Rosemary Shortleaf (N.C.)
  • Shortleaved Pine (N.C., S.C., Ga., Ala., Miss., Fla., La., Tex., Ark.)
  • Shortleaved Yellow Pine (trade)
  • Shortschat Pine (Del.)
  • Southern Yellow Pine (trade)
  • Spruce Pine (Del., Miss., Ark.)
  • Virginia Yellow Pine (Va. in part)
  • Yellow Pine (N.Y., N.J., Pa., Del., Va., N.C., Ala., Miss., La., Ark., Ma., Ill., Ind.)

Growth Range

The Shortleaf Pine is found from Long Island southward to northern Florida, throughout most of the southeastern States, westward through the eastern half of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, in the southern section of Missouri and the eastern section of Oklahoma and Texas.

The Wood

The wood is moderately hard, stiff, strong, non-porous, and has a straight prominent grain with an attractive figure for a pine. The heartwood varies in shades of orange and yellow to reddish light brown in which the growth rings show very prominently with narrow sapwood of nearly white to yellowish or orange-white. It is one of the “hard” pines and somewhat difficult to distinguish from other southern pines. In common with all the pines it is easily worked with tools but the Shortleaf Pine has a rather exceptional pine figure depending upon the type of cut. It has little resin content. The wood holds nails and screws reasonably well, but shrinks a little more than the northern pines.


Shortleaf Pine is used extensively in building construction, sash, doors, frames, interior and exterior trim, “knotty pine” finishing, weather-boarding, wainscoting, boxes, crates, excelsior, agricultural implements, some grades of furniture, cooperage stock, caskets, woodenware, toys, and to some extent for carving and general carpentry purposes. It is also used for paper pulp and, when creosoted,for poles.



  • Shelley E. Schoonover (American Woods) 1951 (Watling & Co. ) Santa Monica, CA 

Contributors to this page: admin and John Morris .
Page last modified on Saturday December 3, 2022 12:05:10 PST by admin.