Markets for Shortleaf Pines

Shortleaf pines have gotten short shrift for decades because they grow more slowly early in their lives than do loblolly pines, the commercial tree species of choice. But shortleaf does have its own unique set of advantages that can make it a viable commercial option.

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Shortleaf is more resistant to fusiform rust than any other Southern pine, and it is more wind- and drought-resistant than loblolly. It is also highly adaptable to different soil and site conditions and tolerant of fire. Between ages 20 and 44, its growth rate matches that of loblolly pines, and it surpasses loblolly thereafter. All of these characteristics make it a viable option for landowners who are interested in restoring shortleaf pines but concerned about its market opportunities.

Timber products. Shortleaf pines produce dense, tight-grained wood that is used for high-quality sawtimber (trees that are sawed into lumber), plywood, structural material, and pulpwood. Even its taproots are sometimes used for pulpwood.

Non-timber products. Shortleaf pines are sometimes used as ornamental or Christmas trees, and to make resin products. Other markets are emerging for the non-timber benefits that shortleaf pines provide, from their value as habitat for game an asset if you offer hunting leases to their carbon-storing capabilities.

These market possibilities for shortleaf pines provide an extra incentive for woodland owners who’d like to see the tree protected. If you’d like to be part of turning the tide for the shortleaf pine, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.

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