The Southern Longleaf pine was designated as the state tree by the Alabama Legislature in 1997. Although it grows very little during the first five years, the pine tree may reach a mature height of up to 150 feet. Like many other pine tree species, the Longleaf pine grows well in the sandy soils native to Alabama. Residents near the Gulf Coast may wish to plant a Longleaf pine tree to replace those damaged by hurricanes, while residents of central Alabama may choose a Loblolly pine for its noted resistance to drought-like conditions, which are common in this region during the summer.
Choose a variety of pine tree to plant. Select from species such as Southern Shortleaf pine in the central and southern portions of the state. Pick from Virginia pine, Eastern Hemlock, and Loblolly pine in the northern area of Alabama. Bald Cypress may be grown in the central part of the state. Buy seedlings at a local nursery during the months of November through February.
Place the pine trees in an area of full sun. Make sure there is enough room for the pine tree to grow at least 10 to 20 feet wide and 50 to 150 feet tall. Ensure that the root system will not interfere with any septic tank lines on your property. Note any overhead power lines that may cause a problem in the future.
Check the drainage of the soil in the location where you would like to plant pine trees. Dig a hole 18 inches deep with a post-hole digger. Fill the hole with water to the top by using a garden hose. Check to see that the water has drained from the hole completely in two or three hours.
Dig a hole in the chosen location that is 6 to 8 inches deep and 12 to 14 inches wide. Remove the burlap covering from the tree's root system. Place the seedling in the hole so that the top of the root ball is slightly extended out of the ground by an inch or so. Fill the hole back in with dirt to the top with a small hand shovel. Tamp the dirt firmly around the base of the plant to secure it in the ground.
Water the plant thoroughly by using a garden hose with a spray attachment. Keep the tree watered at least twice a week during winter and spring. Water the pine tree daily during the summer months. Sprinkle the needles of the pine tree lightly with water during the summer so they do not become brittle and break off.
Add a layer of mulch to the newly planted pine tree. Use pine straw, pine bark or cypress mulch. Spread the layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches thick in an area that is 2 to 3 feet from the trunk of the tree. Add more mulch as needed to keep down weeds and prevent erosion around the pine tree.