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Pinus glabra, Spruce Pine

It is surprising that this plant has not been discovered except by a few landscape architects and horticulturists in northern Florida. It becomes one of the nicest, soft-textured pines available for urban planting. Its graceful canopy fills a yard slowly. Growing in full sun on moist fertile soils, this North American native will also tolerate poor, dry soils, as well as wet sites better than other Pines. Trees are very tolerant of urban conditions and have survived and grow well along streets.

Trees are naturally found south to Alachua County. Trees grow in southeastern US into northern Florida on river banks and swamp edges. Soils are acid and typically sandy and periodically waterlogged.

Trunks often twist and bend as they ascend into the canopy. Pines grow best on acid soil and are usually not recommended for planting in soil which have a high soil pH. Grows best without grass competition. Spruce Pine is unusual among the Pines in that it will grow in partial shade. Needles in groups of two.

Like many pines horizontal branches break easily in ice and wind storms. Something always seems to be falling from this pine tree; needles, sap, branches, and fruit appear on nearby cars, roofs and sidewalks year round. Unless grown in the open with no other trees nearby, shaded lower branches die as the tree grows taller. Open-grown trees keep more lower branches, probably due to greater sun exposure. It is important to maintain only one leader to the top of the plant.

Dropping needles often discourage people from planting pines near streets, parking lots, or near other pavement. Roots also enjoy growing just under the surface of the asphalt and cracking it. Probably the most serious problem of Pines in areas with high pH irrigation water is pine chlorosis. The root system is often dominated by a few large diameter roots.

Tri-national champions are 117 x 50, 83 x 81, and 124 x 63 feet in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Spruce Pine Photos

Spruce Pine

Spruce Pine

Spruce Pine Bark

Spruce Pine Needles

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