Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Pinus virginiana
Species Authority: Mill.
Common Name(s):
English Virginia Pine, Scrub Pine
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-04-11
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.

Pinus virginiana's very large extent of occurrence and its increase in recent decades on abandoned farmland indicate an assessment of Least Concern.

Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to the eastern USA: occurring from New York State in the north to northern Alabama and Mississippi in the south-west and South Carolina in the south of its range.
Countries occurrence:
United States (Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia)
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1
Upper elevation limit (metres): 650
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is dramatically increasing on abandoned farmland in much of its range.
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: No
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Pinus virginiana is a species of the Piedmont and lower slopes of the Appalachian Mountain system, growing on the sea coast in the north, but only in the interior and at higher altitudes in the south of its range, up to 650 m a.s.l. The climate is humid and cool in most of its range and snowfall can be abundant at least in the northern parts. This species is naturally restricted to poorer soils and avoids calcareous substrates. It is a pioneer that now invades large tracts of abandoned farmland, invigorating its reputation as a weedy species. On these and other marginal or disturbed sites it is a shrubby tree, but it can attain taller tree stature in mixture with other trees in a forest environment. In such woods it is a minor component accompanying Quercus spp. and sometimes other species of pine e.g. P. echinata, P. rigida and P. taeda, or it is part of a mixture of oaks and pines. Other conifers locally growing with P. virginiana are Tsuga canadensis and Thuja occidentalis. In the so-called pine barrens in the NE of its range sometimes lichens (Cladina, Cladonia) and a few oak shrubs (Quercus ilicifolia) provide the only undergrowth.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: No
Generation Length (years): 30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Foresters dismissed this species as 'weedy' in the past, but it has the capacity to grow upright to a moderate size, especially when planted on abandoned farmland and former coal strip mines. It provides rough lumber and pulpwood on these sites especially in the SE of its range. It is also important as a Christmas tree and huge quantities are planted and sold each year. It finds little appreciation in horticulture, but the dense branching of some shrubby specimens would be ideal in garden landscaping. Dwarf forms (cultivars) from witches brooms have been produced by growers in the USA and can be used to advantage in rock gardens

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No specific threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in several protected areas within its range.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus virginiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42426A2979266. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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