The species name of pitch pine (Pinus rigida) means rigid or stiff and refers to both the cone scales and the wide-spreading, sharply pointed needles. It is a medium-sized tree with moderately strong, coarse-grained, resin
ous wood that is used primarily for rough construction and where decay resistance is important.
Pitch pine prefers rocky, sandy regions and very tolerant of poor soils. The older pine can be have very gnarly branches. As its name suggests, pitch pine is rich in resin (pitch) and very popular for starting campfires. The gummy tree is brittle and of little commercial timber value.
Forestryimages.org provides several images of parts of pitch pine. The tree is a conifer and the lineal taxonomy is Pinopsida > Pinales > Pinaceae > Pinus rigida. Pitch pine is also commonly called black norway pine, black pine, hard pine and mountain pine.
3. The Range of Pitch Pine
Pitch pine grows over a wide geographical range-from central Maine to New York and extreme southeastern Ontario, south to Virginia and southern Ohio, and in the mountains to eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, and western South Carolina. Because it grows mostly on the poorer soils, its distribution is spotty.
Remarks: "It is fire succession
al, sprouts adventitiously, and is frequently shrubby in the northern part of its range."
Pitch pine often survives fire, but trees may be top-killed or killed entirely. Pitch pine survival may be affected by tree size, bark thickness, time since last fire, surface soil conditions, fire severity, and/or fire season.