Longleaf Pine, Pinus palustris

I like the longleaf pine. I find it fasinating that it takes upwards of 8 to 10 years to just start becoming a tree.
Traditionally, it was a very important source of timber in the southeast US but much of the original stands
were cut during the late 19th century. It is still used for timber but on a more limited basis. One reason being
its slow growth.

The needles occur in clusters of three and can be up to 18 inches long, thus the name.
The tree starts out in a "grass" stage:

After it develops a tap root, it starts to stretch up into what I call the "Cousin Itt-stage:"

Soon branches form and longleaf pines can grow to a height of 150 feet. The tips of the branches then look like chimney sweep brushes:

Here are some groves with both young and older trees:

A couple of cones:

And a couple of local flowers: