How to Grow Pine Trees for Timber


Many commercial tree farmers grow and produce various types of pine trees for use as timber products. Although most homeowners and gardeners use these evergreens for ornamental purposes in yards and landscapes, many individuals grow pine trees as a source of firewood or for building projects. When growing pines for timber, patience is the key, as these trees only reach maturity after many years of growth.

Step 1

Purchase your pine trees from a provider of forestry products. Many state university extension offices sell pine tree seedlings for use in mass plantings in the spring. Select varieties known for quick growth, such as loblolly pine and white pine. Place your order ahead of time to ensure an adequate number of pine trees for delivery in the spring.

Step 2

Remove all existing vegetation from your selected planting site early in the spring, before the anticipated delivery date for your pine trees. Pull out and burn any existing trees and shrubs. Use a tractor with a mower attachment to mow down large weeds and plants. Apply an herbicide marketed as safe for use with pine trees. Apply the herbicide to the soil according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 3

Mark out a grid on your planting site for your pine seedlings. Allow 10 to 12 feet between each seedling to provide between 302 and 435 trees per acre of planted timberland. Use locator markers, small wire posts with colored flags, to indicate planting spots.

Step 4

Dig individual holes for each pine tree seedling in your planting site. Use a garden shovel to scoop out enough dirt to provide adequate space for each seedling's roots, without crowding them. Dig all the holes before planting any trees. Place a seedling in each hole and gently backfill to a level even with the surrounding soil. Replace your locator marker near the bases of each seedling to assist in locating these small trees during mowing and weeding procedures.

Step 5

Thin out trees that grow too thickly and block sunlight. Remove the smaller, weaker selections when thinning. Use these prematurely harvested trees for log projects or allow sufficient drying time for later use as firewood.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check your pine trees regularly for insects. Many types of pine trees require regular applications of pesticides to ensure the health of the timber.

Things You'll Need

  • Pine seedlings
  • Tractor with mower attachment
  • Herbicide
  • Locator markers
  • Shovel
  • Saw


  • University of Tennessee: White Pine
  • University of Wisconsin: Red Pine
  • University of Florida: Florida Forest Trees
Keywords: timber pine, evergreen, grow timber

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.