Pinus taeda
Common Name: loblolly pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 40.00 to 90.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Grow in medium to wet soils in full sun. Prefers moist, acidic soils with poor drainage. No tolerance for shade. Performs best in climates with hot and humid summers and mild winters. Commonly spreads into old fields by self-seeding. Not reliably winter hardy to the St. Louis area.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus taeda, commonly called Loblolly pine, is a fast-growing, medium to tall conifer that is common to the southeastern U.S. where it typically grows from sea level to 2400’ in a variety of conditions ranging from poorly-drained low wet areas, bottomland forests and flatlands to well-drained upland soils. It is native from southern New Jersey to Florida and west to eastern Texas. It sometimes grows in pure stands. It typically grows to 40-50’ in cultivation, but may reach 90’ tall or more in the wild. This tree is particularly noted for its straight trunk. It loses its lower branches as it matures, gradually developing a dense oval-rounded crown. Dark yellow-green needles (5-10” long) in bundles of three (infrequently in bundles of two) are finely-toothed, stiff and slender. Stalkless, oval-cylindrical cones (3-6” long) with sharply-spined scales appear in groups of 2-5. Scaly gray bark develops furrows with age. This is an important timber tree whose wood is used for pulp, plywood and general construction.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet of taeda comes from a Latin word for pine tree.

Common name of loblolly means mudhole in reference to the swampy areas where this tree often grows in the wild.

Problems

In its native habitat, healthy, well-maintained trees usually have few major problems. Susceptible to southern pine beetle and pine engraver beetle. Fusiform rust and rots may occur. Winter hardiness is a problem in the St. Louis area.

Garden Uses

Loblolly pine is infrequently sold in commerce outside of its native habitat. It is an excellent tree for moist low areas with poor drainage. It also serves as a good screen.