Pinus echinata

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: short-leaf pine 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 50.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 35.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils, but prefers sandy loams. The formation of a deep taproot complicates transplanting from the wild. Best to site in a protected location in the St. Louis area which is on the northern end of the natural growing range for this tree.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pinus echinata, commonly called shortleaf pine, is native to Missouri where it mostly occurs in dry, sandy or rocky upland areas in the Ozark region. A medium-sized, fast-growing pine with a short pyramidal crown which broadens somewhat with age. Typically grows 50-60' tall in cultivation, but will grow to 100' tall in the wild, with records existing to over 140'. Dark bluish-green needles (3-5" long) appear in bundles of two. Cylindrical brown cones (1.5 to 2.5" long) are usually not produced until the tree reaches 20 years old. Attractive reddish-brown bark in scaly plates on mature trees. An important timber tree in the deep South where it is harvested for a variety of purposes, including lumber, plywood and wood pulp (for paper). Oleoresins are extracted to make turpentine.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.

Specific epithet means spiny and is in reference to the prickle-tipped cone scales.


Healthy, well-maintained trees usually have few problems. Pine beetles and weevils are potential insect pests.


Not noted for ornamental value. Native plant gardens or naturalized areas. Effective screen in early years.