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Considered to be one of several species grouped as a  Southern Yellow Pine native to the southeastern United States, the habitat of the Longleaf Pine stretches along the coastal plain from eastern Texas to southeast Virginia and into northern and central Florida. The needles of the Longleaf pine are known for their length (obviously) and can grow up to 18 inches long. Mature Longleafs naturally prune their lower branches and grow  almost perfectly straight. Since the first settlers arrived Longleaf Pine has been valued as a prize source for naval stores like resin, turpentine, and timber.
Early example of a container lid for Vicks VapoRub, which once contained turpentine as an ingredient. Oddly, for the first 5-12 years of growth the Longleaf pine may not reach heights greater than one to two feet and with it’s long needles it resembles something more grass or bush like. As reclaim its straight grain and medium to fine texture make it a popular choice for crafting hardwood flooring, wall paneling, and furniture. However, it has been reported that in the past they could reach heights of up to 154 ft with diameters of almost 4 ft.

Overtime timber harvesting has destroyed what was once one a dominant species along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of North America. It takes 100 to 150 years for a Longleaf Pine to reach maturity, and it is possible for these trees to live up to 500 years. At this stage the plant while very resistant to wildfires is an incredibly appealing edible for feral pigs. While this pine’s timber is available in some nurseries within its natural range it is believed that only 3% of the original Longleaf Pine forest remains intact. The timber is valuable for its high resin content causing it to deter rot far better than many other species. In closing enjoy these lines from a man far ahead of his time, wilderness preservation advocate and naturalist John Muir. As it has become well known, feral pigs are currently wreaking havoc across the Southeastern United States.

Farmers have been known to dig up resin saturated, rot free tap roots from fields that had been clear cut in the century before. It is believed that feral pigs have been playing a major role in shrinking  Longleaf Pine numbers since the days of the early American settlers. While extremely rot resistant this resin soaked wood is extremely flammable and structures crafted from it burn easily and very hot. This may seem odd due to the fact that while alive the tree is incredibly fire resistant and actually thrives through cycles of natural burning that take place within its environment.

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