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The Major North American Conifers With Descriptions

The Most Common Commercial Softwood Trees and Forest Associates


21. Pine, Loblolly

Loblolly Pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
Loblolly pine is found in pure stands and in mixtures with other pines or hardwoods. When loblolly pine predominates, it forms the forest cover type Loblolly Pine (Society of American Foresters Type 81). Within their natural ranges, longleaf, shortleaf, and Virginia pine (Pinus palustris, P. echinata, and P. virginiana), southern red, white, post, and blackjack oak (Quercus falcata, Q. alba, Q. stellata, and Q. marilandica), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) are frequent associates on well-drained sites.

22. Pine, Lodgepole

Lodgepole Pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
Lodgepole pine, with probably the widest range of environmental tolerance of any conifer in North America, grows in association with many plant species. The lodgepole pine forest type is the third most extensive commercial forest type in the Rocky Mountains.

23. Pine, Longleaf

Longleaf Pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
The principal longleaf cover types are Longleaf Pine (Society of American Foresters Type 70), Longleaf Pine-Scrub Oak (Type 71), and Longleaf Pine-Slash Pine (Type 83). Longleaf pine is also a minor component of other forest types within its range: Sand Pine (Type 69), Shortleaf Pine (Type 75), Loblolly Pine (Type 81), Loblolly Pine-Hardwoods (Type 82), Slash Pine (Type 84), and South Florida Slash Pine (Type 111).

24. Pine, Pinyon

Pinyon Pine
B. Steed/Bugwood.org
Pinyon is a minor component of the following forest cover types: Bristlecone Pine (Society of American Foresters (Type 209), Interior Douglas-Fir (Type 210), Rocky Mountain Juniper (Type 220), Interior Ponderosa Pine (Type 237), Arizona Cypress (Type 240), and Western Live Oak (Type 241). It is an integral component in Pinyon-Juniper (Type 239) over a large area. However, as the type extends westward, pinyon is replaced by singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) in Nevada and some localities in western Utah and northwestern Arizona. Southward along the Mexican border, Mexican pinyon (P. cembroides var. bicolor), recently given separate species status as border pinyon (P. discolor), becomes the dominant tree in the woodlands.

25. Pine, Pitch

Pitch pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
Pitch pine is the major component of the forest cover type Pitch Pine (Society of American Foresters Type 45) and is listed as an associate in nine other types: Eastern White Pine (Type 21), , Chestnut Oak (Type 44), White Pine-Chestnut Oak (Type 51), White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak (Type 52), Shortleaf Pine (Type 75), Virginia Pine-Oak (Type 78), Virginia Pine (Type 79), and Atlantic White-Cedar (Type 97).

26. Pine, Ponderosa

Ponderosa pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
Ponderosa pine is an integral component of three forest cover types in the West: Interior Ponderosa Pine (Society of American Foresters Type 237), Pacific Ponderosa Pine-Douglas-Fir (Type 244), and Pacific Ponderosa Pine (Type 245). Interior Ponderosa Pine is the most widespread type, covering most of the range of the species from Canada to Mexico, and from the Plains States to the Sierra Nevada, and the east side of the Cascade Mountains. Ponderosa pine is also a component of 65 percent of all western forest cover types south of the boreal forest.

27. Pine, Red

Red Pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
In parts of the northern Lake States, Ontario, and Quebec, red pine grows in extensive pure stands and in the Northeast and eastern Canada in small pure stands. More often it is found with jack pine (Pinus banksiana), eastern white pine (P. strobus), or both. It is a common component in three forest cover types: Red Pine (Society of American Foresters Type 15), Jack Pine (Type 1), and Eastern White Pine (Type 21) and is an occasional associate in one, Northern Pin Oak (Type 14).

28. Pine, Shortleaf

Shortleaf Pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
Shortleaf pine is now considered a major component of three forest cover types (Society of American Foresters, 16), Shortleaf Pine (Type 75), Shortleaf Pine-Oak (Type 76), and Loblolly Pine-Shortleaf Pine (Type 80). Although shortleaf pine grows very well on good sites, it is generally only temporary and gives way to more competitive species, particularly hardwoods. It is more competitive on drier sites with thin, rocky, and nutrient deficient soils. With the species' ability to grow on the medium and poor sites, it is not surprising that shortleaf pine is a minor component of at least 15 other forest cover types.

29. Pine, Slash

Slash Pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
Slash pine is a major component of three forest cover types including Longleaf Pine-Slash Pine (Society of American Foresters Type 83), Slash Pine (Type 84), and Slash Pine-Hardwood (Type 85).

30. Pine, Sugar

Sugar Pine
R. Merrilees Illustrator
Sugar pine is a major timber species at middle elevations in the Klamath and Siskiyou Mountains, Cascade, Sierra Nevada, Transverse, and Peninsula Ranges. Rarely forming pure stands, it grows singly or in small groups of trees. It is the main component in the forest cover type Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer (Society of American Foresters Type 243).

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