Virginia Pine Tree is a slow-growing evergreen tree that, due to its ability to take root and grow where other trees cannot, is sometimes called the “Scrub Pine” for its rough appearance. In New Jersey, it is also called the Jersey Pine, as southern NY and NJ are the northernmost parts of its native range, which is typically along the eastern and western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. True to its scruffy appearance, it thrives on neglect and drought conditions, and in well-drained soils with acidic or neutral pH, sandy loams, and heavy clay.
Virginia Pine Tree does best under full sun and has evolved to invade barren embankments and hillsides where few other trees can grow.
If you have a landscape problem where hills have been stripped bare, abandoned fields, or even infertile farmland, the Virginia Pine will soon take root and thrive to add a much-needed windbreak and bit of greenery in those sunny, bare areas. They can suffer from the same diseases as other pine trees, but not often, and are usually trouble-free. Virginia Pine Tree have short needles, about 1.5 to 3 inches long, in pairs of two, with a twisted shape similar to a Scotch Pine. The reddish-brown bark of a young Virginia Pine is very smooth and thin, but it becomes scaly over time. In some southern states, it is used as a Christmas Tree, as the younger Virginia Pines have an irregular pyramidal structure which can be easily reshaped into a classical Christmas Tree cone.