Southern Yellow Pine


Southern Pine is defined as those species whose major range is in the United States south of the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Great Plains. There are 10 species, all “hard” pines – diploxylon (hard needled) members of the genus Pinus. The four principal species – loblolly, shortleaf, longleaf and slash – make up 90% of the Southern Pine timber inventory and are referred to commercially as “Southern Pine” or  “Southern Yellow Pine”. “Mixed Southern Pine” includes the minor species of Virginia pine and Pond pine. Southern Pine lumber is composed of either sapwood or heartwood, or a combination of the two. Heartwood is the “dead” or dormant center of a tree surrounded by the living sapwood. Generally, heartwood can be distinguished from sapwood by its reddish color. Its higher density also makes it harder than sapwood. In the heart pine trade, the rule of thumb is “The redder the better.” Lumber cut from the heartwood of any Southern Pine species can be considered heart pine.