Spruce Pine - Pinus glabra
Native to the southern United States, this evergreen is unique in both appearance and ease of cultivation. The branches are loosely spaced and the needles are long and soft. Spruce pines can withstand both flood and drought, and unlike most pines do well in shade. They are also unusual in that they thrive in open spaces and among other species of trees, such as hardwoods, rather than in a stand of other pines. If grown in open areas or among smaller trees and plants, spruce pines will retain their lower branches, providing light shade.
Spruce pines are large trees, reaching heights of 60-80 feet. They grow approximately three feet per year. These trees are a worthwhile investment, as their majestic appearance will enrich your property for decades to come. As spruce pines do not need to be planted in groups, they make great statement pieces. A spruce pine would look striking placed at the end of the driveway, or used as the centerpiece for a garden.
Spruce pine seedlings should be started in partial shade. Care is fairly simple. Provide a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to nourish the soil and deter weed growth, and water the tree during dry weather. Spruce pines tolerate both dry and waterlogged soils, and prefer soils with a low pH. They grow best in warm, humid climates.
The lush emerald foliage of spruce pines has undeniable visual appeal. These lofty, graceful trees are an elegant addition to any property. Squirrels will scamper through the branches searching for pine cones, and birds will take advantage of the many places to perch. Guests will enjoy the dappled shade and sunlight passing through the branches overhead. Spruce pines will keep your yard busy and vibrant all year long.