Official Symbols and Emblems of Alabama
Official Alabama Tree
Southern Longleaf Pine
The official state tree of Alabama is the Southern Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris Miller). Longleaf pine is distributed primarily in the lower two thirds of the state. It may be distinguished by the needles which occur in bundles of threes and are about 12 inches long. The cones are about seven inches long.
Longleaf pine is peculiar among all trees in that it develops very little above ground during the first one to five years of its life. During this time the top is a dense bunch of green needles and is often mistaken for grass. This tree is found on a variety of sites but grows best on well-drained sandy soils. Longleaf pine can grow to a height of about 150 feet and a diameter of nearly four feet.
The Legislature first designated the state as the Southern pine tree in 1949. Because there are so many kinds of pine trees, the Southern Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris Miller), was specified as the state tree of Alabama by the Legislature in 1997.
Updated; January 20, 2010