9 Different Types of Pine Trees in Virginia


Since almost two-thirds of the state of Virginia consists of forests, it isn’t surprising that there are tons of pine trees there. Trees are, therefore, very important to this state, and some of the many trees found in Virginia include hemlock, bald cypress, spruce, cottonwood, willow, aspen, hickory, and pine, to name a few.

Pine trees are evergreen coniferous trees that have four types of leaves, including needles. Pine trees are often used as Christmas trees, but have many other uses as well. If you’re researching the different types of pine trees in Virginia, you can start with the list below because it contains all nine of the pine trees found there.

1. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.)

Eastern White Pine Tree (Pinus strobus)

The Eastern white pine is part of the white pine group and has needles that produce new growth in the summer and seed cones that are long and slender. Some Eastern white pines have grown to around 230 feet, but this is a rarity because most are below 180 feet. Still, this is a very tall tree that presents an elegant display once it is fully grown.

Among the uses for Eastern white pine are furniture, construction projects, ship- and barn-building, and even some artwork. This is a truly versatile and useful type of wood.

2. Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida Miller)

Famartin | wikimedia Pitch Pine – Pinus Rigida

The pitch pine is a small to medium-sized tree that gets from 20 to nearly 100 feet in height, and they are quite common in the northeastern section of the United States. The tree is unique because it has twisted branches and has an irregular shape. The needles consist of bundles of three, and the tree grows very fast in the first few years of life.

The trunk of the Pitch pine is often crooked or misshapen, so it is rarely used in construction or manufacturing projects, but it is still used for other things, such as building ships and railroad ties.

3. Red Pine (Pinus resinosa Aiton)

Public Domain Red Pine – Pinus Resinosa

Red pine trees grow up to roughly 120-feet tall, although some can get up to 140 feet instead. The bark is unusual because it changes colors depending on where it is located, with the bark close to the base of the tree being a grayish-brown color and turning a bright orange-red color once it gets to the center.

The red pine tree is tall and straight, making it very regal-looking, and its yellowish-green needles grow in groups of two. It is indeed a majestic tree to look at.

4. Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata Mill.)

Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata)
Kenraiz Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata)

The Shortleaf pine tree is popular throughout the eastern part of the United States and some parts of the southwest. It can reach up to 100 feet in height and have a trunk up to nearly three feet in diameter. One of its best qualities is the ability to grow in a variety of soils and growing conditions, making it a very sturdy tree.

Uses for this type of pine tree include use as lumber, plywood veneer, and basic wood pulp. It can also have a trunk that is irregular or oddly shaped. In addition, the cones are roughly three inches long and have a short prickle.

5. Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens Lambert)

Table Mountain Pine Pinus pungens
Table Mountain Pine (Pinus pungens)

This type of white pine is smaller than other pines and is found mostly in the Appalachian area of the United States. They are usually no taller than 40-feet high, and they have needles that come in bundles of two. They have short-stalked cones that are almost completely seedless, and they are pale pink to yellow in color.

Table mountain pine trees are also called prickly pines or hickory pines, and they do great in dry conditions. This is one of the reasons they are found mostly on rocky slopes and similar locations.

6. Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana)

Virginia pine Pinus virginiana
Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana)

Also called a Scrub pine and Jersey pine, this type of pine tree can get up to 60-feet tall and has short, yellow-green leaves. The wood of the tree is used for wood pulp and lumber, accommodating various construction and other projects, and you can often find Virginia pine trees being used as Christmas trees. 

The Virginia pine is a great provider of food for various types of wildlife. It can also be used for reforesting purposes. Its wood even gets harder the older it gets, making it useful for other projects as well.

7. Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris Mill.)

Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)

The Longleaf pine tree is native to the southeastern part of the United States and got up to 150-feet high before extensive logging started taking place. Nowadays, the tree most commonly grows to about 115 feet and has a circumference of roughly 30 inches. 

In many ways, the Longleaf has become a symbol of the southern part of the United States, particularly the southeast section. People expect to see pine trees when they visit this part of the country, and the Longleaf pine is one of the types they are certain to see.

8. Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.)

Loblolly Pine Tree

Native to states in the southeastern part of the United States such as Texas, the Loblolly pine tree is the second most-common tree in the United States, the first being the red maple.

It is found mostly in swampy areas and lowlands, and it gets up to roughly 115 feet in height. The needles of the tree are in bundles of three and the cones themselves start out green and get up to five inches in length.

The seed cones of this tree turn a pale-brown color once they ripen and are a little more than two inches wide. The largest tree of this type is found in the Congaree National Park in South Carolina. It is 169 feet in height.

9. Pond Pine (Pinus serotina Michx.)

flickr | Cliff Pond Pine (Pinus serotina)

Also called the Marsh pine tree, this tree has an irregular growth pattern and usually gets to roughly 70-feet high. The needles develop in groups of three or four and get up to eight inches in length. Much like its name suggests, the Pond pine tree is found mostly in wet habitats close to swamps, bays, and of course, ponds.

With its small round cones, the Pond pine tree even has needles that grow directly from its trunk, making it a unique type of pine tree indeed.