Virginia Pine
Pinus virginiana Mill.

Virginia Pine: Full Size

Also known as Scrub Pine, Spruce Pine, or Jersey Pine.

Mature Size: 50 to 80 feet in height and 12 to 14 inches in diameter.

Form: Long, horizontal branches, often drooping, forming an open, ragged, flat- topped crown; branch stubs often remain along the trunk for many years after the lower branches die.

Habitat: Various well-drained soils; can tolerate eroded and dry soil.

Needles

Virginia Pine: Needles

1½ to 3 inches long, in bundles of two, thick, yellow-green and usually twisted.

Flowers

Males cylindrical, yellow, near branch tips; females yellow to red, with a curved prickle.

Cones

Virginia Pine: Cones

Dark reddish-brown, egg-shaped, 1½ to 2¾ inches long, with a sharp spine at the tip of each scale; mature the second year and remain on the tree for several years after seed-fall.

Bark

Virginia Pine: Bark

Thin, reddish-brown, scaly, with shallow fissures.

Twigs

Slender, purplish-green, with a waxy coating; buds gray-brown and narrowly egg-shaped.

Values and Uses

The lumber is used for rough construction but warps easily with alternate wetting and drying. The wood has a very long fiber and makes excellent paper pulp. Small songbirds eat the seeds and may roost in thick stands of young pine. Woodpeckers nest in decayed older trees, and mice and deer browse the young foliage.

Did You Know?

Virginia pine's tolerance for poor soil makes it suitable for reclaiming strip-mined lands.