Arkansas has more than 9,000 miles of hiking trails, two national forests, and more than 18 million acres of forests, making it a true paradise for people who love the outdoors. Even though oak and hickory are predominant in the forests, the pine tree is special enough to be called the state tree. So let’s see what kinds of pine the state of Arkansas is home to.
Pine trees are conifers and evergreens, and the cones on the trees can be as small as one inch long or as large as 15 inches long. The trees are easy to grow and very regal-looking, which is why they are so popular in public areas such as parks, playgrounds, and gardens. They are also great for homeowners and make the perfect addition to any garden or back yard.
The pine trees in Arkansas consist of four different types, and if you’re curious about these trees or doing research on them, the information contained below should be very valuable.
1. Eastern White Pine (pinus strobus L.)
The Eastern white pine usually gets to around 160 feet in height, although some have been known to grow to nearly 190 feet. The trunks can range from three to five feet in diameter, and just like other pine trees, the Eastern white pine has uses for nearly every part of the tree.
Some of the uses for the wood of this tree include lumber for the construction industry and masts for ships, and when you include the bark and needles, you get medicinal purposes as well. In fact, these trees’ needles have a huge amount of vitamin C, even more than oranges and lemons, which is a great reason to check them out.
The Eastern White Pine is one of the most prevalent types of pine in North America.
2. Loblolly Pine (pinus taeda)
Much like other trees in the southern part of the country, the loblolly pine tree is found mostly in swamps and other lowland areas. It usually grows up to around 100 feet high and has a trunk that can get up to five feet in diameter. Interestingly, some loblolly pine tree seeds were included in the Apollo 14 mission, and when they returned, they were planted in various places across the country, including the White House.
Arkansas is home to one of the oldest loblolly pine trees. It is located in southeastern Arkansas and is more than 300 years old, 117 feet high, and 56 inches in diameter, making it a very impressive tree indeed.
3. Longleaf Pine (pinus palustris Mill.)
With a height of roughly 115 feet and a diameter of 28 inches, this may not be the biggest type of pine tree, but it is a very attractive and stately looking pine tree. In fact, the longleaf pine has become a cultural symbol of the South, and it is even the state tree in states such as Alabama.
Some of the many uses of this tree include lumber and pulp, and the wood is resinous and yellow in color. Ironically, because the wood is resinous, the tree’s stumps and taproots will not rot, which is sometimes an inconvenience for homeowners who wish to remove the tree completely, as the task is very difficult.
4. Shortleaf Pine (pinus echinata)
Native to the eastern part of the country, the shortleaf pine has needles that grow in groups of two or three but mixed together. Its shape can be either crooked or straight, and it grows from 65 to 100 feet high and about two feet in diameter. The cones are around three inches in length, and the tree is sometimes called the Southern yellow pine or shortstraw pine.
The shortleaf pine can be used for plywood veneer, wood pulp, and lumber, and it can accommodate a variety of growing conditions, including wet flood plains and rocky uplands.
The shortleaf pine is very common in North America, and can be commonly found in Arkansas, as well as Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, and more.