Virginia Pine - Pinus virginiana
The Virginia Pine is one of the most popular Christmas trees in America, dominating the living rooms of households in the South during December. This tree grows best on the East Coast, specifically from New York to Alabama. This pine tree has the unique property of its needles sprouting in pairs. If examined closely, the unique formation can be easily spotted by the naked eye.
It takes five years before pine cones will appear on a Virginia Pine, but once the cones begin to appear pollination season begins in early June. The tree is small when compared to other types of pine trees. One of the tallest Virginia Pines to be recorded was only 114 feet high.
Aside from being America's premier choice for Christmas trees, Virginia Pines are also used for railroad ties and to create fuel and tar. In West Virginia and Kentucky, Virginia Pines are being planted over top of old coal mines in an attempt to one day benefit from all of the properties of the tree.
For a home owner that is looking to add a little southern charm to their yard, a Virginia Pine can be an excellent choice. Before you plant the sapling, there are a few things you should know. The Virginia Pine grows best in clay filled earth. The tree will also live in sandy areas, but they will never reach their maximum height. The oldest Virginia Pine known was 150 years old, but they stop reproducing between the ages of 60 and 90.
In total, the tree can be found naturally occurring in 17 states, but they can successfully grow in most parts of the continental United States. Virginia Pines naturally occur in Virginia, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Indiana, South Carolina, Delaware, and Maryland.