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SKIP KILPATRICK
05-24-2017, 04:25 PM
Pinus palustris, commonly known as the longleaf pine

Mother's Day Weekend I took a trip down to Pinehurst, North Carolina to visit my parents. The area where they live has an ecology that is quite different from the Piedmont of here in Central Virginia. The area on the Coastal Plain is known as the Sand Hills and is dominated with with forests of beautiful longleaf pines.

These trees grow from South Eastern Virginia along the sandy soil of the coastal plain down to Florida and west along the Gulf of Mexico to Texas.

In this sandy soil the tree grows slowly for the first 5-12 years with only a small tuft of needles that look like very coarse grass during this period it grows a very deep tap root that helps anchor the tree.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4252/34752388385_af36ea28e2_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UWX5j6)Pinehurst NC May 2017- longleaf pine and fox squirrel (https://flic.kr/p/UWX5j6) by Skip Kilpatrick (https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue_heron_rva/), on Flickr


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4199/34590272292_5962e12002_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UGCbR3)Pinehurst NC May 2017- longleaf pine and fox squirrel (https://flic.kr/p/UGCbR3) by Skip Kilpatrick (https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue_heron_rva/), on Flickr



Only after the tap root is secure does the experience vertical growth. To my eyes the next phase of its life cycle is really interesting.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4272/34712193306_34d10e22bd_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UTp4Hu)Pinehurst NC May 2017- longleaf pine and fox squirrel (https://flic.kr/p/UTp4Hu) by Skip Kilpatrick (https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue_heron_rva/), on Flickr


https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4269/33909980874_f7cfcbd2e5_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/TEvvUE)Pinehurst NC May 2017- longleaf pine and fox squirrel (https://flic.kr/p/TEvvUE) by Skip Kilpatrick (https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue_heron_rva/), on Flickr

SKIP KILPATRICK
05-24-2017, 04:28 PM
These trees take 100 to 150 years to reach maturity and can live up to 500 years.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4273/33943231823_3454880f65_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/THrWfT)Pinehurst NC May 2017- longleaf pine and fox squirrel (https://flic.kr/p/THrWfT) by Skip Kilpatrick (https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue_heron_rva/), on Flickrhttps://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4222/34620497441_746ee68ddb_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UKi6Ji)Pinehurst NC May 2017- longleaf pine and fox squirrel (https://flic.kr/p/UKi6Ji) by Skip Kilpatrick (https://www.flickr.com/photos/blue_heron_rva/), on Flickr

Jimmy W
05-24-2017, 05:06 PM
Most of the former Longleaf pine ecosystem has been logged and the trees replaced by faster growing Loblolly and Slash pines.