The Gymnosperm Database
forest at Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve, E of Saint Cloud, Florida [Will Blozan, 2009.01].
A typical tree of the serotinous Ocala race,
, at the Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve [Will Blozan, 2009.01].
Foliage, new growth, and cones on a tree at the Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve [Will Blozan, 2009.01].
Bark on a tree at the Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve [Will Blozan, 2009.01].
The largest known sand pine [Will Blozan, 2009.01].
(Chapman ex Engelmann) Vasey ex Sargent 1884
Sand pine, spruce pine, scrub pine (Brendemuehl 1990).
Chapman ex Engelmann 1877;
D.B. Ward (
). Some authorities discriminate the eastern and southern, serotinous trees as the Ocala race,
, and the range-disjunct northwestern, non-serotinous trees as the Choctawhatchee race,
D.B. Ward 1963.
"Trees to 21 m; trunk to 0.5 m diam., straight and erect to leaning and crooked, much branched; crown mostly rounded or irregular. Bark gray to gray-brown, furrowed, with narrow, flat, irregular ridges, resin pockets absent, on upper sections of the trunk reddish to red-brown, platy becoming smooth distally. Branches spreading to ascending, poorly self-pruning; twigs slender, violet- to red-brown, rarely glaucous, aging gray, smooth. Buds cylindric, purple-brown, to 1cm; scale margins white-fringed. Leaves 2 per fascicle, spreading-ascending, persisting 2-3 years, (3-)6-9(-10) cm x ca. 1 mm, straight, slightly twisted, dark green, all surfaces with fine, inconspicuous stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex short-conic; sheath 0.3-0.5(-0.7) cm, base persistent. Pollen cones ellipsoid, ca. 10 mm, brownish yellow. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds soon thereafter or often long-serotinous, 4 long-persistent, solitary or whorled, spreading, symmetric (rarely slightly asymmetric, reflexed), lanceoloid before opening, ovoid to broadly ovoid when open, 3-8 cm, red-brown, sessile or on stalks to 1 cm, scales with dark red-brown, purple, or purple-gray border distally on adaxial surface; apophyses thickened, shallowly and angulately raised, transversely rhombic, cross-keeled; umbo central, low-pyramidal, tapering to sharp tip or weak, often deciduous prickle. Seeds obovoid-oblique; body ca. 4 mm, dark brown to nearly black; wing to 17 mm. 2
). The species resembles both
, and like the former includes both serotinous and non-serotinous races (Will Blozan e-mail 2009.01.04). Prior to 1884, in fact, both this species and
were commonly united under the name
Bong. (Lambert 1803).
Distribution and Ecology
USA: Alabama and Florida, at 0-60 m elevation (
). The largest sand pine concentration is a block of the variety
covering about 101,170 ha in N-C FL, an area often referred to as the "Big Scrub." This variety of sand pine also grows in a narrow strip along the E coast of FL from St. Augustine southward to Fort Lauderdale, and along the Gulf Coast in small tracts scattered from a few km N of Tampa, S to Naples. Variety
grows along the coast in W FL from Apalachicola to Pensacola and W into Baldwin County, AL. This variety is most abundant in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, FL, covering an area of about 40,470 ha. Scattered stands of this variety can be found 32 to 40 km inland from the coast in this section of FL. Sparse stands of sand pine are also found on many of Florida's offshore islands (Brendemuehl 1990). Hardy to Zone 9 (cold hardiness limit between -6.6°C and -1.1°C) (
Bannister and Neuner 2001
). See also
Thompson et al. (1999)
Distribution data from
The species grows in pure stands on acid to strongly acid sand soils (Entisols) of marine origin. Var.
in N-C FL experiences hot, humid summers and mild, dry winters. Precipitation averages 1350 mm per year, and varies from 50 to 75 mm per month from October to April, with as much as 200 to 230 mm per month in June, July, and August. The recorded temperature has ranged from -11°C to 41°C, with a mean frost-free period of 290 days. Var.
experiences a slightly wetter, cooler climate. Precipitation averages 1520 mm per year, and varies from 100 to 110 mm per month from December to May. The recorded temperature has ranged from -17°C to 42°C, with a mean frost-free period of 265 days (Brendemuehl 1990).
In N-C FL
forms a highly distinctive community amongst areas of predominantly sandhill community dominated by longleaf pine (
), turkey oak (
), and pineland threeawn (
). In these areas, even-aged
dominates the overstory, while the understory is composed almost entirely of evergreen shrubs 1.8 to 3.0 m tall. There is little or no herbaceous ground cover. Shrubs found in this understory include sand live oak (
), myrtle oak (
), Chapman oak (
), rosemary (
), tree lyonia (
), scrub palmetto (
), saw-palmetto (
), silk bay (
), gopher-apple (
), and ground blueberry (
). Mats of lichens (
spp.) are often plentiful on the ground beneath the trees and shrubs. In contrast, the P. clausa var. immuginata community of W FL grows in uneven-aged stands and invades adjacent forested sites if protected from uncontrolled fire. The understory in these stands is quite sparse. Turkey oak, bluejack oak (
), sand post oak (
), pineland threeawn, and prickly pear (
spp.) are the most common species of this understory (Brendemuehl 1990).
The species is often found on sites that are subject to hurricanes. The trees in these groves often lean in one direction (photo at right) (Will Blozan e-mail 2009.01.04).
The principal disturbance agents affecting
include fire, insects, and pathogens. The tree is much less fire resistant than other pines in its range such as
. Hot ground fires will kill it as readily as crown fires, and factors such as long branch retention and a dense understory contribute to a high incidence of crown fires. A unique combination of fuel and weather conditions is associated with crown fires that occur in forests of var.
. The moisture content of sand pine needles is often lowest in March, and their resin and energy contents reach a yearly high from February through May. These fuel properties take on critical importance when they are combined with severe drought conditions and blustery spring weather characterized by unstable air masses, low relative humidity, and high winds. The conditions may result in spectacular crown fires that release seed from the serotinous cones, helping to perpetuate the species in an edaphic fire climax (Brendemuehl 1990). Myers (1990) reports that wildfire in sand pine stands usually exhibits extreme and uncontrollable behavior, relating a fire in Ocala National Forest in 1935 that burned 2,295 ha in 4 hours. However, controlled burning is possible and provides the principle hope for protecting remnant native stands from conversion to oak, which otherwise is the consequence of fire suppression (FEIS).
The principal insect pests also attack the other species of pine growing in Florida, and are found throughout the range of
. They include bark beetles and sawflies, but a variety of lesser insects pests have also been recorded. Bark beetles, primarily
, cause the greatest volume loss in sand pine, especially among var.
. These attacks are generally associated with stress factors such as severe drought, lightning, fire, mechanical damage, or crowded stand conditions. The sand pine sawfly (
) reduces the productivity of affected trees, and afflicts both varieties of
. Attacks are reported to be most severe along stand edges and in plantations with fewer than 750 trees per hectare (Brendemuehl 1990).
Sand pine varies in its susceptibility to pathogens. Mushroom root rot caused by
is found in natural stands of var.
, but var.
is considered resistant to this disease.
is reported to be a virulent pathogen on seedlings of both varieties, but there is no conclusive proof that this fungus is a pathogen of
under field conditions. Eastern gall rust (
), which forms spherical galls mainly on twigs and branches of both
varieties, is common but seldom a serious problem. Heart rot caused by
has been reported in sand pine but is usually not a problem until the stands are more than 40 years old, a relatively advanced age in this species (Brendemuehl 1990).
, a specimen 65 cm DBH and 26.12 m tall with a crown diameter of 8.5 m; height measured by laser; located near Saint Cloud, FL (Will Blozan e-mail 2009.01.04). No data for var.
. Two former large trees included DBH 70 cm, height 29 m, crown spread 12 m; also DBH 62 cm, height 30 m, crown spread 13 m; both located in Starkey Wilderness Park, FL (American Forests 1996). These two trees are no longer listed, and have presumably died or been reduced in stature, probably by a hurricane.
One of the most short-lived of pines. Brendemuehl (1990) refers to no trees older than 60 years, and the FEIS alludes briefly to trees of 100 years. I have found no accounts of older trees.
In peninsular Florida
is managed to produce a high volume of pulpwood. It has low timber value due to numerous persistent dead limbs and often crooked trunks (
, Will Blozan e-mail 2009.01.04).
Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve
near Saint Cloud, FL sounds like a good place to see it. This is near the location of the largest known specimen (Will Blozan e-mail 2009.01.03).
The seeds are known to be eaten by the wild turkey (
), bobwhite quail (
), fox squirrel (
), gray squirrel (
), and mourning dove (
The NCSU Dendrology Project
American Forests 1996. The 1996-1997 National Register of Big Trees. Washington, DC: American Forests. This is a dated citation; the big tree register is now
Brendemuehl, R. H. 1990. Sand pine,
Burns and Honkala (1990)
Lambert, Aylmer Bourke. 1803. A Description of the Genus Pinus. London: J. White. Available
, accessed 2009.01.07.
Myers, Ronald L. 1990. Scrub and high pine. Pp. 150-193
R.L. Myers and J.J. Ewel (eds.),
Ecosystems of Florida
. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Press.
Sargent, C. S. 1884. Report on the Forests of North America (Exclusive of Mexico). Washington: Government Printing Office. p. 199. Available
, accessed 2011.05.16.
Ward, Daniel B. 1963. Contributions to the flora of Florida-2,
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Edited by Christopher J. Earle
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