Loblolly Pine

Pinus taeda

Loblolly Pines are large trees, growing up to 100 feet tall. Along with Eastern White Pine and Virginia Pine, it is one of our most common pine trees. The easiest way to tell them apart is to count the needles. Loblolly Pines have clusters of three needles, Virginia Pines have clusters of two, and Eastern White Pines have clusters of five.

Loblolly Pines grow in forests and fields. In fields, they are a pioneer tree, meaning they are one of the first trees to grow.

The trunks of Loblolly Pines can be up to three feet wide. The bark is thick, scaly, and dark grey. Underneath are brown layers.

Leaves are needles, in clusters of three, with each one being about six or seven inches long. Needles stay green all year.

Trees of Alabama and the Southeast, Photographer: Mike Hogan

Photo courtesy of North Carolina State University

The flowers of this tree are usually yellowish-orange. They give way to cones. Loblolly pinecones are three to five inches long, dull brown, and prickly.

Loblolly Pines grow quickly, and they can grow in wet or dry soils. Some other plants that grow with this tree include: Eastern White Pine, Virginia Pine, White Oak, Southern Red Oak, Willow Oak, Sweetgum, Eastern Redcedar, Red Maple, Yellow Poplar, Sassafras, American Beech, American Elm, Flowering Dogwood, American Holly, Smooth Sumac, Highbush Blueberry, and Tussock Sedge.

Virginia Tech

Seeds of Loblolly Pine are eaten by many animals, including: Mourning Dove, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, White-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Thrasher, Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Chipmunk, White-footed Mouse, and Eastern Gray Squirrel.

Beaver and Eastern Cottontail eat the bark and needles. White-tailed Deer eat needles and twigs.

Many birds nest in these trees, especially Mourning Dove, American Robin, nuthatches, American Bald Eagle, and Osprey. Young trees provide cover for White-tailed Deer, rabbits, squirrels, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, and many other animals.

Woodpeckers and other animals live in cavities of Loblolly Pines.

Many fungi are parasites of these trees, including Golden Spreading Polypore, Dye Polypore, and others.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants


Eastern Cottontail

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern White Pine

Golden Spreading Polypore Pa

Eastern Chipmunk

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Virginia Pine

Mourning Dove D

White-footed Mouse

Bald Eagle

American Holly

Death Cap My

Wild Turkey



Japanese Honeysuckle Pa

White-breasted Nuthatch

American Robin


Virginia Pine Sawfly Pa

American Goldfinch

Virginia Pine Sawfly

Eastern Redcedar

Indian Pipe Pa

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Eastern Gray Squirrel

White Oak

Dark-eyed Junco

Black Rat Snake

American Hornbeam

Black-capped Chickadee

White-tailed Deer

Willow Oak

Tufted Titmouse

Eastern Cottontail

American Beech

Green Stinkbug

Wild Turkey

American Elm


Northern Bobwhite

Tussock Sedge

Eastern Gray Squirrel

White-breasted Nuthatch

Flowering Dogwood

Mourning Dove

Great Crested Flycatcher

Highbush Blueberry

Northern Bobwhite


Red Maple

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Virginia Opossum

Yellow Poplar

White-tailed Deer

Red Fox

Smooth Sumac

Dogday Harvestfly

Big Brown Bat


Virginia Pine Sawfly

Dogday Harvestfly

Pink Lady's Slipper

Mourning Dove

Indian Pipe

Relationship to Humans:

Loblolly Pines are a very important tree. Because they grow so fast, we plant them in huge amounts to use for lumber and paper. We also use the wood for plywood, posts, poles, crates, dock pilings, boxes, and mulch. People plant them as shade trees on their lawns, and we use them to stop soil erosion.


Pinus taeda


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