Nominated by Heather Patt
Spp: Pinus palustris
location: 3612 Cranston Rd. Garner, NC 27529
Although the pictured 6-year old tree that grows on our front lawn is small in stature, it is special because it generates public awareness for the importance of a native species that was once part of vast forests of longleaf pine along the southeastern Atlantic and Gulf coasts. While North Carolinians have long noted the importance of this species (it serves as its official state tree and it is specifically lauded in the official state toast), it is still extremely rare in suburban environments.
Our little tree has generated a lot of discussion; people commonly ask: “What kind of tree is it?”, “Why does it grow in such spurts?”, "Where did you get it?", and "What is eating you're tree?" (as it gets defoliated yearly by the pine sawfly caterpillars). As professional biologists, my wife and I take these opportunities to use as teaching points to promote the ecological value of longleaf pines and increase community awareness of planting native species.
Our 1950’s brick ranch neighborhood is full of gorgeous mature trees, but there are very few younger trees. We hope the trees we have planted on our property will provide shade and enjoyment to future generations. The funds from this contest will be used towards neighborhood beautification projects.
Please find attached 2 pictures of our Longleaf Pine, sorry I'm not the best photographer and wished that I had a better contrasting background. Thank you,