Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 2 plant ID/comparison guides:

collage of Shortleaf Pine and Eastern White Pine

Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata) vs. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

Updated January 5th, 2023

These species are sometimes confused where their ranges overlap, as both tend to have more delicate-looking foliage with thin needles of similar length, and can tower over deciduous forests. They are easily distinguished by cones, bark, count of needles per bundle, and crown shape. Pinus strobus ranges much farther north, is more shade-tolerant, and in the areas of range overlap is more restricted to cool, humid sites. Pinus echinata ranges much farther south and southwest, prefers dry sites, and is more strictly limited to sites with acidic, leached soils.

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collage of Shortleaf Pine and Virginia Pine

Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata) vs. Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana)

Updated January 2nd, 2023

These pines are sometimes confused where their ranges overlap, although soil conditions usually favor one over the other. Both can occur in dry uplands, have shorter needles in bundles of 2, reddish bark, and small, persistent cones with similar dimensions. They can usually be easily distinguished by needle length, examination of the bark for the presence of resin pockets, or close examination of the cone scales on open cones. P. echinata ranges farther south and west, tends to occur on ultisols, highly leached soils, and persists longer in forests, whereas P. virginiana ranges farther north, tends to occur on spodosols and inceptisols, and can occur on higher pH soils, but is more restricted to early-successional habitats, persisting long-term only on harsh barrens.

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