Virtual Tour of the Forest: Young Pine

To view this 360 degree image, move your  pointer over the image and click while moving the pointer in the direction you would like to move or use the arrow keys.
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The stand in the virtual reality window shows a 3 year old stand of loblolly pine which was hand planted. The area to the right received hardwood control, which makes room for herbaceous growth important to quail and rabbit for food and cover. With good management, planted seedlings will rapidly outgrow the hardwood competition, often exceeding two feet in height growth each year. To the left, the hardwood will soon shade out the important herbaceous plants. Behind you is a eight year old planted stand of loblolly pine.

Pines are mostly pioneer species - the first trees to seed in on bare ground after a fire or on abandoned fields. Like most oak trees, pine seedlings need full sunlight to grow - they cannot tolerate shade.  Loblolly pine is the most common species found in the southern part of Virginia. Shortleaf pine and Virginia pine can also be found in southern Virginia but are more common in Northern Virginia.

Pine trees do not sprout from stumps or roots like many hardwoods. They germinate from windblown seeds or nursery grown seedlings that are planted. Since they originate from seeds on bare soil or are planted, all the trees in a pine stand are usually about the same age.

Almost all of the land in Virginia was used for agriculture crops sometime during the past 300 years. The forests we have today became established when the land was no longer farmed. In many parts of Virginia the soil will not produce good quality hardwoods but will grow crops of pine timber. Hot, dry, less fertile sites are best for pine tree growth after timber harvesting is completed.