USA Official State Tree of Arkansas

Loblolly Pine

"> Tree, a state symbol(Pinaceae Pinus taeda)
Adopted on June 23,1939.

The pine ,Pinaceae Pinus taeda,  was adopted as the Arkansas State Tree by the Fifty-second General Assembly of 1939. Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), also called Arkansas pine, North Carolina pine, and oldfield pine, is the most commercially important forest species in the southern United States, where it is dominant on about 11.7 million ha (29 million acres) and makes up over one-half of the standing pine volume. It is a medium-lived, intolerant to moderately tolerant tree with rapid juvenile growth. The species responds well to silvicultural treatments and can be managed as either even-aged or uneven-aged natural stands, or can be regenerated artificially and managed in plantations.


The pine tree is a major resource of the state's paper industry. There are approximately 200 species of trees native to Arkansas. With the many hybrids, the total comes close to 300, which is a good representation of the nearly 1,200 different trees recognized for the United States. Of the saw timber grown in Arkansas, over 83% is pine, oak, and gum.


The loblolly and shortleaf pine are varieties of southern yellow pine found in our state. Both varieties may grow to be 100 feet tall and can be found in our two National Forests-the Ouachita National Forest and the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest.

  • One of the most common trees on Assateague Island, the loblolly can grow up to 100 feet tall and up to three feet in diameter; however, along the coast they seldom rise more than 50 feet. Because of the shade from these trees, a loblolly wood will have few smaller trees or shrubs.
  • Leaf: Evergreen, 6 to 9 inches long, with (usually) three yellow-green needles per fascicle.
  • Flower: Monoecious; males long cylindrical, red to yellow, in clusters at branch tips; females yellow to purple.
  • Fruit: Cones are ovoid to cylindrical and red-brown in color. The umbo is armed with a short spine. Cones are roughly the size of a potato (3 to 6 inches). Maturing September to October.
  • Twig: Orange-brown in color, fine to moderately stout. Buds are light reddish-brown.
  • Bark: Quite variable. When young, appears brown and scaly. Older trees are ridged and furrowed, with somewhat apparent blocks. Very old trees have red-brown scaly plates.
  • Form: A medium to large tree that self-prunes well and develops a straight trunk and an oval, somewhat dense crown.


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Coniferophyta – Conifers
Class Pinopsida –
Order Pinales –
Family Pinaceae – Pine family
Genus Pinus L. – pine
Species Pinus taeda L. – loblolly pine


Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture