Loblolly Pine Facts

Fast-Growing, Stately Loblolly Pine Tree

  • Tons of Character
  • Wonderful Wildlife Tree
  • Fast Growing Screen When Young
  • Magnificent Shade Tree When Mature
  • Native to United States
  • Important Lumber Tree
  • Fragrant Needles and Bark
  • Impressive Height
  • Can Be Used in Rain Gardens
  • Rated A Fire-wise Tree in Some Areas
  • Grows in Most Soils, Including “Mud Puddles” or Wet, Acidic Clay Soil

Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) are some of the fastest-growing Southern Pines in the United States. One would make a dramatic shade tree for your yard, or plant several for a quickly established wind break or privacy screen.

Sometimes referred to as a “Bull Pine” for its massive size, it will eventually grow into a remarkable tree of impressive stature. You can expect it to grow quickly, a rare and welcome trait for a Pine tree, up to 2 feet or more in a single year.

It reaches its stately heights with a straight and true trunk. As it reaches toward the sky after many years, lower branches drop off, leaving an open, rounded evergreen crown.

The resinous needles are 6 to 10 inches long. The long needles have a fantastic fragrance, which is why it’s also nicknamed “Rosemary Pine”. Reddish-brown, scaly bark appears to be attached in plates over the trunk, which adds tremendous texture and definition to this dramatic tree. Two to six-inch light brown cones are a handsome accent.

While the tree is young, it features a compact, full growth habit with branching along the trunk. This makes a great choice if you need to create a fast screen.

You’ve probably seen older trees with long straight trunks, and picturesque branches held in a high crown. This will happen after many decades. At this point, Loblolly Pine makes a terrific shade tree with a lot of character.

In fact, some fans like to call their Loblolly trees natural works of art. With sculptural limbs, and long fragrant needles, these beautiful native trees bring a unique charm to the landscape.

Best of all, it easily grows in many soils, including that sticky, acidic clay found throughout the Southern United States. Loblolly Pine Tree is highly prized for its use in pulpwood and lumber, and its resin also enjoys a rich history of medicinal uses.

Deer and small mammals also enjoy it’s rich seed harvest. Many birds use it for food and shelter. In fact, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker makes its home in the Loblolly Pine, along with species such as nuthatch, towhees, bobwhites, chickadees, Bald Eagles and wild turkeys.

You’ll notice a marked increase in the wildlife populations when you install these trees on your property. What a resource tree!

This long-lived tree can reach 300 years. It has replaced many of the older style pines because of its great resistance to fire. Check your local municipalities to see if it is recommended as fire resistant in your area.

With its varied uses, attractiveness to wildlife and general impressive stature it’s easy to see why a Loblolly Pine Tree would be a splendid addition to your yard this year.

How to Use the Loblolly Pine in the Landscape

Who doesn’t need a boost of privacy, or a fast screen for harsh winds or less-than-desirable views? Loblolly Pine grows fast to create an attractive screen and windbreak in just a few years.

Plant a long row of Loblolly Pines along your property line, and add shorter evergreen trees and shrubs, along with beautiful flowering trees and shrubs in a healthy diverse planting. You’ll appreciate how their rugged good looks spice up a sophisticated planting design.

Add plenty of Loblollies at a rural wildlife retreat. Create an incredible naturalized wooded area. They support a vast population of desirable animals and birds. Here, vary the spacing from 20 – 30 feet on center. You’ll measure from the trunk of one tree to the trunk of the next.

For a natural look, plant them in a gentle curve, or irregular zig zag. Play around while the trees are still in their nursery pots until you love the look. Check from different vantage points, and enjoy the process.

This tree is one of the first pioneer species to grow along river bottoms. Why not include Loblolly as anchoring trees in a large Rain Garden? They’ll create a perfect focal point in the transition zones.

Tips for Care

Although it needs no pruning if given enough room to reach its full mature height, you can keep Loblolly shorter with a regular schedule of “candling” in early spring. To keep this tree shorter, plan to pinch or snap the last inch off the new growth shoots each spring.

You can keep it dense and full with extensive candling. Or, do light candling to reduce new growth while the tree is young to encourage more branching. Candling can improve the overall form of the pine while keeping a very natural appearance.

The Loblolly Pine require soils with low pH but will tolerate even the poorest soils where the pH is 6.0 or below. The pine favors hot areas with high humidity and likes to grow in low, wet areas. It grows in both moist sandy soils or heavier clay soils.

Best suited for warm winter climates, they can experience damage in hard freezes. Give them full sun, as they are intolerant of shade.

It transplants well and can handle both periodic flooding and moderate periods of drought. Give it supplemental water in extended drought.

Water carefully to establish young trees in your soil. We also recommend the use of Garden Center Point Root Booster for this tree. Add one pack for every tree you order. Mix into the upper few inches of soil as you plant the new tree, then water well.

This tree is low maintenance and has no serious pest or disease concerns. You’ll love the natural look this native Pine tree brings to your landscape.