Pine trees are not only a popular landscaping tree but are grown by the millions to harvest for lumber and use as Christmas trees. They have a wonderful citrus-like smell and are attractive, as the long pine needles blow in the wind and reflect the sunlight. They are evergreen and produce dense shade. However, not all varieties of pine trees are adapted to every part of the U.S. Some have certain growth habits making them unsuitable for certain locations.
The Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) is a commercially important tree in the United States and is widely planted for lumber and pulpwood. It grows rapidly and is adaptable to different sites, although shows stress in alkaline soils. It has a mature height of 90-110 feet. The Loblolly Pine is also known as the Arkansas pine and the North Carolina pine. It makes an outstanding landscaping tree.
Longleaf Pines (Pinus palustris) grow up to 100 feet high and can live 300 years or more. They were once a dominant pine tree in the Southern U.S. until logging practices decimated the populations. The Longleaf Pine has an interesting growth habit that involves growing a long tap root with little top growth for the first five to seven years of life. After this period, known as the bud stage, they grow rapidly. The Longleaf pine is adaptable to poor soils.
The Afghan Pine (Pinus eldarica) is also known as the Desert Pine or an Elder Pine. It is one of the few kinds of pine trees that grows in alkaline soils. It only grows to 50 feet tall and is a popular pine tree to use as a Christmas tree. The Afghan pine is often sold as a living Christmas tree when it is rooted in pots.
The Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is another pine tree that is often sold as a Christmas tree. It grows naturally in more areas of the world than any other pine tree. The range of the Scotch Pine extends from the Pacific Northwestern section of the U.S. to the Great Lakes region. It has a shorter growth habit than some other pine species, only growing to 55 feet after as long as 100 years.