Botany

Tree Profiles Table Mountain Pine



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The Table Mountain Pine Tree is a small tree that is native to the United States and its range is in the Appalachian Mountains. This tree is commonly called Hickory Pine or Mountain Pine. The Table Mountain Pine has a very rounded and irregular shape. The color of the needles range from yellow-green to mid green. The cones are short-stalked and ovid. They have a pale pink to yellow buff color. This tree thrives in dry climates. It grows as a single scattered tree or in small groves at high elevations. The Table Mountain Pine grows to a size of 6-12 m. The cones have sharp spines which are 4-10 mm long. You can find this tree growing from Georgia to Pennsylvania. It can also be found on the ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Weather that produces gusty winds, glazes, snowfalls, tornadoes and lightening reduces the populations of these trees. Some diseases play a part in the damage like butt and root rot. Cone-boring insects can destroy seed crops. The southern pine beetle is one of these insects that cause the damage. The Table Mountain Pine is highly favored for its pulpwood, firewood, and sawtimber. Squirrels love the seeds. These trees stabilize the soil and help minimize erosion and runoff in its natural range. A variety of wildlife use the Table Mountain Pine for food and shelter. Cones that grow at higher elevations are well matured. The mature cones have a light brown color. The immature ones are deep green to brown. Old cones that remain attached to the branches are gray.

The Table Mountain Pine is listed as one of the trees in Native Pines in Eastern North America. The needles of this pine tree stay green year-round. Their branches are arched. The bark is a dark gray-brown and it is scaly. The bark on the branches is a reddish-brown color and it is flaky. The needles grow in clusters, usually two or three. The cones can remain on the tree for a few years. These trees are restricted only to mountain areas. The mature trees can reach a height of 65 feet and about 2 feet in diameter. This tree was first discovered in 1794 near Tablerock Mountain in North Carolina. It can grow along with other hardwood trees. This tree is widespread in Virginia. The female cones are different from the males. The Mountain Pine Beetle is responsible for killing many of these trees.

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