4 Different Types Of Pine Trees In Ohio (With Pictures)

Ohio is hot and humid in the summer, and cold and wet in the winter. Temperatures rarely reach above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and drop below -20.

With over hundreds of pine tree species in the world, it’s no surprise that some are native to Ohio. This state also receives an adequate amount of rain, about 40 inches per year.

Pine trees are diverse, but require cooler temperatures to thrive. They typically live well during droughts and rainy periods.

You can also find cedar, cypress, elm, and oak trees in Ohio. 

Pine trees are evergreen since they keep their needles for at least two years. They belong to the Pinaceae family. Some varieties can grow very quickly, reaching 50 feet tall in under 50 years.

The tallest pine tree ever is 268.3 feet and is in the Wild Rivers Ranger District, Phalanx.

Here are the 4 native pine trees found in Ohio:

1. The Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata)

Average Size: 65-100 feet tall
Growth Rate: Slow (less than 12 inches per year)
Drought Tolerance: Yes
USDA Hardiness Zone(s): 6A-9
Common Names: Yellow Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Shortstraw Pine

The shortleaf pine is a tree that is found in at least 20 states. It is native to Ohio and most of the southeastern United States. Some even grow as far north as New York.

The tree is straight, slender, and sometimes grows crookedly.

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Shortleaf pine needles grow in bunches of two and three and can be as long as 5 inches. The cones rarely grow over three inches long. This tree’s bark is unique since it has pockets of resin, which give it a distinct texture.

These trees are perfect habitats for red-cockaded woodpeckers. You can find these pine trees growing next to each other in large woods and forests, as well as wet flood plains. 

2. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.)

Average Size: 80 feet tall & 40 feet wide
Growth Rate: Slow (Less than 12 inches per year before 15 years of age and after 45. Between ages 15 and 45, the average yearly growth rate is 3.3 feet.)
Drought Tolerance: Yes
USDA Hardiness Zone(s): 3–8
Common Names: Northern White Pine, White Pine, Soft Pine, Weymouth Pine (British)

The Eastern white pine is one of the most common types of pine trees in Ohio. It is also one of the oldest trees in the world. Fossilized remains of it were found in the Gulf Coastal Plain. 

Most Eastern white pine trees thrive in mixed forests and easily tower over other species. The needles grow in bundles of five fascicles. They are bluish-green, flexible, and long growing up to five inches.

The design of the tree looks a lot like the spoke of a wheel since the branches are spaced out evenly with 5 or 6 across from each other.

Eastern white pine trees usually live for 200 to 250 years, but the longest-living one was 500 years old.

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3. Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida Mill.)

Average Size: 20 to 98 feet tall
Growth Rate: Quick (It slows down after 50-60 years)
Drought Tolerance: Yes
USDA Hardiness Zone(s): 4-7
Common Names: Candlewood Pine, Torch Pine

Pitch pine trees are small to medium trees found throughout eastern North America. It is native to Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, and Central Maine.

This unique pine tree grows in harsh and cold conditions but has a strange shape.

It grows anywhere from 20 to 98 feet tall and lives over 200 years. The branches twist as they grow since the pine cannot self-prune efficiently. The bark on the tree is thick and irregular.

This is a popular tree grown in the U.S. because it grows quickly and bounces back after fires. Pitch pine trees re-sprout using epicormic shoots if the main cut is damaged from a fire.

Frequently in nature, it also hybridizes with other pine species like pond loblolly and shortleaf pines in Ohio.

4. Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana Mill)

Average Size: 40 to 75 feet tall
Growth Rate: Quick (Up to 2 feet per year)
Drought Tolerance: Yes
USDA Hardiness Zone(s): 4-8
Common Names: Possum Pine, Scrub Pine, Jersey Pine

Although a common nickname for this pine tree is Jersey pine, it is also very common in Ohio.

It is hardy and grows in poor and nutrient soils. In poor conditions, the tree may stop growing at 59 feet tall.

The yellow-green needles grow in twisted bundled pairs. Sometimes, the Virginia pine’s trunks twist and bend.

Despite its yellowish color, Virginia pine trees are common in Christmas farms and reforesting.

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Virginia pine trees produce cones after five years and they are typically less than 4 inches long. The bark is rough, red, and has small scales.

Cherokee natives used this tree as a medicine to treat fevers, diarrhea, and constipation.

James Ball

James has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature, tracing back to his childhood where he first began fostering intimate knowledge and connection with pet frogs and snakes. He has since honed this interest into a career as a trained Wildlife Biologist, specializing in Biogeography, sustainability and conservation. In addition to his professional pursuits, James maintains an active lifestyle, regularly indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, and musical pursuits like playing piano and swimming.

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