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Pitlolly Pine (Pitch X Loblolly Hybrid)

9 years ago

Has anyone had any experience with Pitch X Loblolly hybrid pines? Anyone have any opinions on them? Has anyone seen a full grown specimen? Do they get as tall as Loblolly pine? I've looked around on the web, but never seen any large ones. I just see pictures of smaller ones. I've read some sites that say they get 40-60 feet tall. How far north has anyone grown them successfully? How do they handle the cold, heavy snows, and ice? How much do deer like them?

I'm in central-west NJ in Hunterdon County, so I'm north of the natural Loblolly range, but I've always wanted to have some. I've seen many forests of Loblolly when I go to Southern Delaware. I've tried digging up some seedlings and transplant them home, but they always end up dying in the winter. I've read that the Pitlolly pine is more winter hardy; so I thought that was the best way for me to have loblolly like pine where I live.

I planted them for my first time this past April. I found that the State of NJ Forestry Nursery sells them for $30 for a 100 10-12" bare root seedlings. I've been very impressed with what I've seen so far, but it is not as spectacular as some of the growth stories I've read about them on the web though. I've had a 100% survival so far without giving them any care. They seem to do well on both drier sites and wetter sites. About half of them have at least doubled in height if not more. In the summer, I mowed one of them right to the ground and there wasn't a needle on it and it started sending up shoots. It's only a few inches tall, but I was impressed with that. The only other thing I've seen do that is my Chinese Firs (Cunninghamia). I have 6 pitch pine seedlings that were started bare-root the previous year and many of the pitlolly pines outgrew them already. The pitlolly pines seem to have straighter stems while the pitch pine are flopping all over the place. I'm caging the nicer plants to make sure the deer don't end up rubbing them in the fall or eating them in the winter.

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