It does well in poor soils and prefers gravelly, sandy, acidic soils. However, it is tolerant of all soil types. The Pitch Pine accepts a variety of moisture conditions, from very wet to very dry. Pitch Pine is exceptionally resistant to damage. If its trunk is injured, it will regrow from shoots, and it has an unusually thick bark to protect it from a fire. The bark is deeply furrowed and separated into red-brown to yellow-brown plates. Propagation is accomplished via seeds that are present inside pinecones. The cones begin to emerge when the Pitch Pine is three to five years old, and they take two years to mature. The cones are two to four inches long and one two inches wide with a small spike at the end of each lobe. Both male and female components are present on each tree, so multiple trees are not needed to produce pinecones.
Pitch Pine cones will develop even if only one tree is planted
Their canopy is typically irregularly shaped and variable from tree to tree. They generate, at a rate of approximately twelve inches per year. Growth usually slows when trees reach about ninety years of age and Pitch Pines are known to live for up to two hundred years. Pitch Pines are excellent additions to landscapes as large shade trees. They also provide a home and food for various types of wildlife. Birds and mammals are attracted to Pitch Pines for safe habitats and the abundant food supply provided by the pine seeds. Historically, a pitch was harvested from Pitch Pines.
Pitch Pine is known for valuable lumber
The pitch makes the wood extraordinarily resistant to decay, so the timber was prized for use as mine timbers, railroad ties, and ship components. In modern times, the lumber is valued for use in construction, as pulp, and as fuel. Pitch Pines is also a favorite bonsai species due to their irregular canopy growth.