Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Shortleaf Pine

Pinus echinata
Plant Type: Trees
Native Environment: Forest, Savanna / Woodland
Season of Interest: Early (Feb - Apr), Mid (May - June), Late (July - frost), Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Green
Fall Color: Green

USDA PLANTS Range Map

At the range map link above, zoom in for county-level data

Trees including shortleaf pines with dark green foliage
Photo: Scott Woodbury
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun, Medium Sun/Average Shade
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate
Nature Attracting
Songbirds
Wildlife Benefit
Cover, Food/Birds, Food/Small Animals, Nesting
Animal
Resistance
Size

Height:

50 to
100
feet

Spread:

20 to
35
feet
Size
Height: 50 to
100
feet
Spread: 20 to
35
feet
Size
Height: 50 to
100
feet
Spread: 20 to
35
feet
Typical Landscape Use
In restoration plantings, can mimic the natural open pine woodlands that were once more common in their native range. Plant as an ornamental; pleasing planted in groves where space allows. Can serve as a screen when young, or as a component of a windbreak row.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Source planting material locally for optimum hardiness. With a deep taproot, initially slow to establish. Likes well-drained soils, preferably a sandy loam; will tolerate some other soils, but prefers acidic soil. In residential situations, supplemental water during drought may help tree to withstand beetles and associated fungal infestations.
Special Features
Evergreen, Interesting Bark
Special Usage
Privacy Screen
Basic Description

Large, evergreen, needle- and cone-bearing tree with lovely plated bark. The trunk is long and the pyramidal shape becomes more broad, opening up as the tree matures. With 3-5″ scented blue-green needles, usually in bundles of two, sometimes pleasantly audible in the wind. Many birds and small mammals eat the seeds produced by mature trees, and can take shelter in the branches. Native across much of the southeastern U.S., it is the only pine native to Missouri; the Ozarks’ extensive shortleaf pine stands had been mostly logged by the 1920s.

Shortleaf pine tree with green needles near a house.

Ten-year-old shortleaf pine in a residential landscape. Photo: Scott Woodbury.

Where Should I Start?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

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