Longleaf Pine

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The magnificent native Longleaf Pine Tree (Pinus palustris) remains a vitally important resource for family forest owners throughout the Southeast US. They provide saw timber and pine straw mulch that brings enormous value! After all, a well-managed stand of Longleaf Pines can supply family income for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

An interesting Pine that is almost grassy-looking when very young, these are slower-growing trees while they get established. Longleaf Pines need to form a long tap root that is essential to their longevity, but once it gets established it can easily add about 2 feet of new growth each year! Under optimal conditions, Longleaf Pine can grow to be very tall and live for hundreds of years. 

An excellent evergreen conifer, mature trees have an incredibly straight trunk with limbs that start about 50 feet high off the ground. They are heavy, resist rot and termite damage, and were used to make power lines and telephone poles. The straight trunk is covered in a blocky, textured bark that is brown with warm, orange overtones. It brings a big visual presence to the landscape!

Stick-straight Longleaf Pine trunks have also been known to tempt agile young human "climbers", who shimmy up the long length and then blissfully ride the branches as the soft-textured canopy sways back and forth in the slightest breeze. (But you never did anything like that, did you?)

New growth buds appear silvery white and are particularly attractive in the winter landscape! Aging into incredibly long, dark green needles that hold on the tree over 2 growing seasons, then fall to the ground as pine straw mulch. Gardeners throughout the South love using pine straw to mulch their flower beds. This valuable wood product can be baled, processed, and sold with proper state certification.

The Importance of Longleaf Pine Trees

Native Longleaf Pine forests once covered 92 million acres of coastal plain in the Southeastern United States. Overharvesting the old growth and recent short-sighted clear-cutting practices have caused a devastating loss of habitat in excess of 97% of the presettlement range.

But today, this beautiful tall tree is making a comeback. This is thanks to the hard work of restoration groups who are replanting ancient Longleaf Pine regions throughout USDA growing zones 7 to 9.

There is nothing so restful and soothing to the soul as a properly managed Pine Savannah. Filtered sunlight breaks through the tree's canopy allowing for the cultivation of grasses, Sedges, and other perennial plants to grow under their canopies. Native wildflowers thrive underneath their filtered shade, as do architectural sweeps of native Wiregrass.

The pine cones are 10 inches long and the seeds feed Pheasant, Turkey, Quail, and Squirrel. Of course, Longleaf Pine is also a friend to a wide web of native animals, including the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Brown-Headed Nuthatch, harmless Indigo Snake, and Gopher Tortoise.

  • Attractive, Extremely Long, Soft, Weeping Needles
  • Grow Fluffy Young "Grass Stage" Trees in Large Containers for Years
  • Highly Textured, Colorful Bark
  • Wildlife Tree Brings Turkey, Pheasant & Bobwhite Quail
  • Valuable for Timber & Pine Straw Mulch
  • Incredible Visual Screen as Border Along Your Property Line
  • Historical Native Tree - Install a Legacy For Your Great-Grandchildren

How to Use Longleaf Pine in the Landscape

Understand the goals for your property to maximize earning potential from logging. Forestry experts are now recommending an uneven-aged management approach to forests, with a mix of young and old trees to allow a continuous stream of income from timber every 7 to 12 years and a higher net income.

Restoring previously cleared land is a worthwhile effort. Add Longleaf Pine as a long-term species in a diversified reforestation effort. Faster-growing trees can be strategically added, then removed for cut timber first as they reach the goal. Allow the more valuable Longleaf Pine trees to mature and provide a seed source.

There are other ways to use this valuable tree, as well. A beautiful shelterbelt, windbreak, or border of Longleaf Pines marching along the length of a property line makes a wonderful visual screen. You'll love the way these highly textured trees look when planted in a very formal way.

Plant them 6 feet apart on center, measuring from the center of one to the center of the next. This spacing gives you and your family a welcome sense of separation from neighboring properties.

Young Longleaf Pines are so cute. They might remind you of that old cartoon, "Captain Caveman" as they go through a fluffy "grass phase" before the trunk expands to push the canopy high up in the air.

These shaggy baby trees have so much character, with long, weeping needles growing in soft-bristled tufts at the tips of the branches. Why not try a few as a focal point in a series of large containers for several years?

They would be a fun, short-term accent with a wonderfully casual look. Use them as an effective, memorable privacy screen for a few years, then sell them, transplant them or donate to a local restoration project.

Recommended for larger landscapes, parks, and woodland restoration, Longleaf Pine trees are also known as Southern Yellow Pine and "Pitch Pine". They produce pitch, which has been used as tar, resin, and turpentine.

Because of this pitch, they should be planted at least 100 yards away from structures as a precaution to prevent fire damage in your defensible space.

Periodic, smoldering slow fires have been part and parcel of the Southern Piney Woods for eons. Controlled burns are now recommended as a part of proper stand management. Work with your state forestry commission office for help finding professionals who are versed in prescribed burning using proper scientific methods. Controlled burns rejuvenate your soil and clear competing brush out of the woods.

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Growing a Longleaf Pine is easy! Give your trees a planting site in well-drained soil in full sun for best results. Provide regular moisture while young trees are establishing with a 3-4 inch thick layer of mulch over the soil surface to hold in moisture and keep the roots cool as they develop.

In their grass phase, Pines work to establish their root systems in your native soil before much upward growth is noticed. As it matures, it becomes a stately, low-maintenance tree. It's even self-pruning, so there really isn’t any work for you, with the trunk eventually soaring upward straight and true.

  • Full Sun
  • Moderate to Low Moisture Needs Once Established
  • Any Well-Drained Soil
  • Shows Resistance to Pine Tip Moth & Southern Pine Beetle
  • Easy Care, Drought & Salt Resistant

Our top-rated, field-grown plants are securely packaged and shipped directly to your door. Nature Hills growers take special pride in producing top-quality plants for your property. Order Longleaf Pine from Nature Hills today.

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Longleaf Pine Is Suited to Grow in Zones 7-9
Growing Zones 7-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Pinus palustris
Type Evergreen
Mature Height 80 - 100 feet
Mature Spread 30 - 40 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Slow
Flower Color Evergreen
Foliage Evergreen
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Evergreen
Pollinator Friendly No