Loblolly Pine Tree

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Loblolly Pine Tree - Provided by eHow
The Loblolly pine tree is identified by its needles and pine cones, and it contributes greatly to the Texas economy. Find out about the Loblolly pine tree with tips from an ecologist in this free video on Texas trees. View Video Transcript

About this Author

Kerry Russel

Video Transcript

My name is Cary Russell. I have a Masters Degree in Landscape Ecology, so I'm standing now next to a pine tree, whose common name is Loblolly Pine, and the scientific name is Pinus taeda. The way that you can identify this tree, is first of all, by looking at the needles. Pine trees leaves are called needles, and they will come in fascicles, which means bunches, and the Loblolly Pine Tree, ninety nine percent of the time, will have needles that come in fascicles of three, and they're going to be about the length of the average hand, so that's about perhaps, five to six inches, Loblolly. Also, looking around on the ground, here's a pine cone. Over here, I'm going to walk away for a second. For the most part, the average size of a Loblolly Pine Cone, is going to be about the size of a baseball. This one is actually a little bit small, and I attribute its size to the fact that, these Loblolly pines are growing in a much drier climate, than would be their native home range, which would be further to the east, and would also have at least ten to fifteen additional inches of rain a year, which is considerable, but this is also probably the single most important commercial species of pine tree in East Texas, which is, that's an important part of the local economy, and I think probably even in North America now, this is a lot of your paper that you use, comes from this particular tree. Pine trees are conic, in their form, meaning that the tree puts more energy into growing up and straight, than it does, say, like a rounded crown, like an oak tree would, or a maple tree, that has a very rounded crown, so these trees tend to be taller and straighter. If you look though, up in the top of the canopy though,you can see how there's a lot of branches up there, and what that tells me when I'm looking at it, is that when this tree was younger, it didn't have a lot of competition, which must admit, that it was growing like in the middle of a pasture someplace, because there wasn't a lot of pressure on it to grow straight and narrow. It was able to grow outwards ,which tells me there wasn't a lot of light competition. If you look around at some of the other trees, you won't see so many branches, or appendages like this, and chances are good, that this is one of many that I see around us, that probably were the parent trees, that seeded in the smaller trees, that you see around us.