What is a Loblolly Pine?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Loblolly pine, known to botanists as Pinus taeda, is a species of pine which is native to the Southeastern region of the United States, extending from Texas through the Southern States and all the way up the coastline as far as New Jersey in its native range. This highly durable and very adaptive tree also grows very successfully outside of its native region, and loblolly pine plantations can be found in several regions of the world as a result.

One loblolly pine known as the “Eisenhower Pine” has achieved particularly notable status.
One loblolly pine known as the “Eisenhower Pine” has achieved particularly notable status.

These pines grow to around 100 feet (30 meters) in height, with distinctive oblong cones and long needles clustered in groups of three. In some loblolly pines, the needles may develop a slightly twisted shape. Loblolly pines grow very quickly, and they can tolerate harsh soil. The name “loblolly” actually means “low wetland,” referencing an environment these pines are particularly fond of, although a loblolly pine does not need wet soil to grow well.

Loblolly pines are native to the southeastern US, ranging from Texas through the southern states and up the coastline to New Jersey.
Loblolly pines are native to the southeastern US, ranging from Texas through the southern states and up the coastline to New Jersey.

In the Southeastern United States, the loblolly pine is a very important commercial timber species. The strong wood and rapid growth of this tree make it ideal for commercial harvesting, and for the establishment of plantations which can be used to cultivate loblolly pines for future harvests. The loblolly pine tolerates crowded environments and indifferent care, which can be a distinct advantage for timber companies establishing plantations. The rapid growth is also convenient for gardeners who want to establish trees quickly.

In addition to being of interest to the timber industry, the loblolly pine is also important environmentally. These trees can help prevent soil loss by rooting in areas with marginal soil where other trees and plants do not grow, and they also provide habitat to a number of native animals. Also known as the oldfield, Arkansas, or North Carolina pine, the loblolly pine can form stands and forests which are also enjoyable for human recreation, with a distinctive strong scent which makes the trees easy to identify.

One loblolly pine known as the “Eisenhower Tree” or “Eisenhower Pine” has achieved particularly notable status. This pine is located near the 17th hole of the Augusta National Golf Club, and according to legend, the 34th President of the United States routinely hit his golf balls into the tree. Frustrated by the obstacle, he demanded that the golf course cut down the tree. Managers skirted the issue, and visitors to the course today can see the Eisenhower Tree in all its glory, providing shade for people who enjoy watching the action on the course.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


The bark of the Loblolly Pine trees is kind of a light brown color, but this species is known as southern yellow pine. I have lived in the Southeast for most of my life and am very familiar with these trees.

They are abundant here and are very fast growing. I also know that they provide habitat and protection for many forest animals. Whenever you are driving a long the road and see a forest of trees, you almost know for certain that their are several Loblolly pines in the mix.


These tall stately trees are seen in a lot of places in North and South Carolina. While we were on vacation we visited Congaree National Park where they have the tallest Loblolly pine there. I think it was around 170 feet tall. The reason I remember this tree is because of its unusual name.

I even learned that if you needed to eat bark to survive it would not hurt you. I don't know if Loblolly pine bark is edible or not, but was told you could cut bark from pine trees and fry it in oil with salt and pepper and it tastes like potato chips!


While traveling through South Carolina one year I was struck by all the different kinds of trees there were. I was fascinated by the name of these evergreen trees and found out that Loblolly means "low, wet place".

The Loblolly pine trees will grow in both wet and also drier soil types. If you enjoy the scent of pine (which I love), you will not be disappointed when you walk by a group of these pine trees. Their fragrance is really strong and refreshing.

Post your comments
Forgot password?