INTRODUCED SPECIES: Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) is native to the south-east of the US.
INTRODUCED SPECIES: Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) is native to the south-east of the US. Contributed

Pine tree may look Christmassy, but it's no present

PINUS elliottii is native to south-east United States of America from South Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana.

It was introduced into Queensland in the late 1920s.

Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) is grown in plantations in the coastal regions of northern New South Wales to Rockhampton.

Unfortunately, slash pines often invade nearby native bushland areas. This tree can form dense stands and shade out native plant species. Slash pine is particularly common in eucalypt woodland areas.

Their cones have small prickles on the tips of their woody scales.

Seed is spread by wind, in water, by soil disturbance, on vehicles, sometimes in animal fur, and by human activities such as bushwalking or camping activities.

Slash pine is considered an environmental weed. An environmental weed is an invasive plant which can disrupt native flora communities and ecosystems.

Slash pine is regarded as an environmental weed in Queensland and NSW.

It is also seen as a potential environmental weed in Western Australia.

Slash pine is a weed of roadsides, urban bushland, open woodlands, grasslands, disturbed sites and waste areas in sub-tropical regions.

It is not recommended to camp under slash pine trees due to its habit of shedding dead branches.

Description

A medium-sized tree attaining a height of 30-35 metres. Branches usually large and spreading. Bark is grey to red-brown in colour, thick, rough and deeply fissured. It is shed in small scales.

It has horizontal branches and usually sheds the lower ones as it grows, so the branches are usually quite high up on mature trees.

Leaves are 20-30cm long, needle-like and in bundles. This tree is evergreen, resinous and aromatic. Male and female cones occur on the same plant. Female cones release dark brown seeds with wings.

Distinguishing features

A large tree with grey to rusty brown bark that is shed in flat discs.

Its needle-like leaves (17.5-30 cm long) are grouped in twos or threes and held within a sheath at their base.

Its elongated male cones (2.5-6 cm long) are borne in clusters.

Its large female cones (7-20 cm long and 3-7 cm wide) are borne on short stalks.

These cones have small prickles on the tips each of their woody scales.

Control

Foliar spray seedlings or dig them out. With large trees, apply herbicide by drilling the trunks and injecting the holes with appropriate dose of herbicide.

Large trees can be cut down and herbicide applied to the stump. Collect the pine cones off the trees where possible before they open.

Do not plant slash pine but use native Australian plant species, including native pine species, instead.

Landcare details

Article writer Ian Read can be contacted 0741 599 365, or email ian.read7@bigpond.com.au for free weed identification and native plants advice, and for landscaping and weed control.

Phone Landcare president Michael Johnson on 0422 297 062 for weed project details and monthly meeting times, or email bundylandcare@gmail.com

The Bundaberg Landcare Nursery at the Salvation Army Tom Quinn Centre, Doctor May's Rd, is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10am-4pm for native plants.



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