Plants, Wildlife and the Shortleaf Pine

For wildlife, every part of the shortleaf pine comes in handy.

Seedlings and saplings provide cover for quail and wild turkey; very old trees with red heart rot make good homes for red-cockaded woodpeckers. The pine’s seeds and seedlings serve as food, and the shortleaf pine/oak savanna ecosystem supports a variety of wildflowers and native grasses.

Credit: Shutterstock

Some of the plants and animals that live in or benefit from shortleaf pines include:

  • Red-cockaded woodpeckers, which are federally listed as endangered
  • Bobwhite quail
  • Northern bobwhite, northern cardinal, indigo bunting and other birds
  • Fox squirrels and other small woodland mammals
  • Whitetail deer

The underappreciated shortleaf is a vital resource to the plants and wildlife of the southeastern U.S. And with the help of willing woodland owners, that resource can be protected.

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