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South Florida Slash Pine
Pinus elliottii var. densa

This tree can grow up to 100 feet. The leaves are needlelike and are typically bound together in fascicles of two, occasionally three, and extend brushlike from the tip of the branch. This tree typically grows in fire-dependent communities.

Wildlife – Squirrels use the trees like jungle gyms and scold each other as noisily as children. These trees do not sucker from the base, and the branches are sparse, so the forest is open and wiry, just right for cardinals and jays, crows, hawks, owls, doves, woodpeckers, and sapsuckers.

The exceedingly hard heartwood has always been a favorite in Southern folks’ indigenous architecture, resulting in large-scale logging, with harvesting continuing into the 21st century. Commercial processes include use in the paper and chemical industries (turpentine and gum resins). Resins are obtained by slashing the pine bark like a “cat face” and harvesting the compound. The United States is the world’s largest producer of turpentine, with much of it coming from Florida. There are also medical applications as a counter-irritant applied topically. Limited references imply the eating of inner bark for food during famine times.