Longleaf pine trees (Pinus palustris) originate from Southeastern North America in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. This erect evergreen conifer reaches 65 feet tall, producing large brown cones over 3 inches long and green needles 8 to 15 inches long. This tree lives over 150 years, growing 24 to 36 inches per year. Seedlings tend to grow at a slower rate and need to be planted in the fall or spring.
Things You'll Need
- Sealable plastic bag
Place the longleaf pine seeds in a sealable plastic bag that is moisture-proof. Moisture exposure causes the seeds to degrade. Handle the seeds gently because the seedcoat is soft and easily damaged. Keep the seeds refrigerated, removing only the amount of seeds being planted right away.
Turn the top couple of inches of soil over with a shovel in an area located in full to part sun. This pine tree prefers moist to dry soil, but not wet soil. Remove the weeds, grass, sticks and stones from the planting site. Rake the soil level and smooth.
Place the seeds on the soil surface spacing them out evenly. Use 15 to 75 seeds per square foot of planting area, depending on the freshness and conditions of the seeds. Longleaf pines have a low germination rate. Press the seeds into the soil, but do not bury them. In nature, the seeds are not buried and stay on top of the surface.
Sprinkle the area with water mimicking rainfall. Germination occurs in seven to 14 days if the temperature stays around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The tree seedlings look like grass when sprouted and can keep this form for two years. Longleaf pine grows 10 feet in three years when it starts to develop branches. Keep the area weed free until the seedling starts to put on strong growth.
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