Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine, scrub pine, Jersey pine) is a medium-sized tree, often found on poorer soils from Long Island in southern New York south through the Appalachian Mountains to western Tennessee and Alabama. The usual size range for this pine is 9–18 m, but can grow taller under optimum conditions. The trunk can be as large as 0.5 m diameter. This tree prefers well-drained loam or clay, but will also grow on very poor, sandy soil, where it remains small and stunted. The typical life span is 65 to 90 years. The leaf type is simple. There are also some nice cultivated specimens of Pinus virginiana in the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts.
The short (4–8 cm), yellow-green needles are paired in fascicles and are often twisted. Pinecones are 4–7 cm long and may persist on the tree for many years, often (though not always) releasing their seeds in the second year. In growth habit, some trees may be inclined with twisted trunks.
This pine is useful for reforesting and provides nourishment for wildlife. Its other main use is on Christmas tree farms, despite having sharp-tipped needles and yellowish winter color. It also can provide wood pulp and lumber. Like some other southern yellow pines, Virginia Pine lumber case hardens. That is it becomes very hard over time during wood drying. Wood from Virginia pine is not normally considered to resist rot unless treated with preservatives.
It was classed as "near threatened" by the IUCN Red List, based on a 1998 assessment. However, a 2011 accessment upgraded its status to "least concern". In New York it is listed as endangered.
- Farjon, A. (2013). "Pinus virginiana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 69. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7.
- Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Pinus virginiana. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.