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Woody > Pinus > Pinus virginiana > Pinus virginiana

Pinus virginiana

Virginia Pine, Jersey Pine, Spruce Pine, Scrub Pine

Origin:  The United States of America.
            Mike's Opinion

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Pinus virginiana grows well in poor, dry soil and is often used for reforestation purposes. Once called a "forest weed" or "scrub pine", it is now frequently used as a Christmas tree. This fine textured tree grows extremely well in full sun and poor soils.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
5a - 6a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H6 - H7
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
9 - 18 m
6 - 10 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Pinus virginiana is a scrubby evergreen tree with yellow / green, flexible needles and long, horizontal branches and a relatively short trunk covered with orange-red bark.
A relatively fast growth rate makes it very good for reforestation where clear cutting or fire has occurred.
Grows best in clay, loam or sandy soils with a pH of 4.5 - 7.5. Suited to well drained soils and less tolerant of wet sites. It is very drought and salt tolerant and grows well in course to medium textured soils.
The crown shape is round with irregular uniformity making it fairly sparse and unsightly.
ID Characteristic
Younger trees have orange-brown bark covered with thin scaly plates that turns orange-red and more rigid as the tree matures.
No serious pests or diseases of note.
Grows naturally in poor, dry soils at elevations of 15 - 760 m. Does not grow well in shallow, chalky soils with too much water. It can be found growing in abandoned farmlands and in places where forest fires have occurred.
Bark/Stem Description
Young bark is smooth and reddish in colour that matures into shaggy, scaly textured, brown-orange bark that tends to be quite thick.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Conical and acuminate with dark brown, resinous scales ranging from 0.8 - 1.3 cm in length.
Leaf Description
There are two needles per fascicle in a dark grayish-green colour. They range from 4.1 - 7.1 cm in length and are rigid and often twisted.
Flower Description
Monoecious with male flowers yellow and cylindrical and female flowers yellow-red and curved.
Fruit Description
Range from 3.8 - 6.4 cm in length with conical to ovoid cones covered in brown-red scales.
Colour Description
Foliage stays green throughout the seasons. The fruit is brown and twigs have a reddish colour.
Texture Description
Tends to be a finely textured tree in the early stages, becoming more rough and scaly as it matures.
Notable Specimens
The Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.
By seed: cold stratification is required as well as soaking for 24 hours and exposure to full sunlight before sowing. Seedlings need relatively dry soil; growth decreases without proper amounts of magnesium and potassium. Grafting is also possible but there tends to be only a 65% success rate with this method.
Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. Knowing Your Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978/1979. Print. Kellison, R. C., and Bruce Zobel. Genetics of Virginia Pine. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Deptartment of Agriculture, 1974. Print. Meyer, Frederick G., and Peter M. Mazzeo. A Catalog of Cultivated Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1994. Print.