(Pocosin Pine - Marsh Pine)
Pinaceae (Pine) Family
While the Pond Pine is scattered throughout the forest little or no distinction is made from other pines in the vicinity, thus it is frequently cut and marketed with the other pines. Its chief utilization is as pulpwood. Some authorities consider the tree to be a variety of the upland Pitch Pine but their differences are quite marked and their distribution is distant.
To identify a young tree, one might first notice tufts of pine needles protruding from the bark crevices. These tufts rarely become stout branches and are quickly shed leaving a knot-like bump on the tree. This characteristic in no way detracts from the quality of product.
The Latin description, serotina, indicates that the cone remains closed until exposed to intense heat, such as a forest fire, at which time the scales open and the tiny seeds (mash) fall away. The small gray squirrel is chiefly responsible for dislodging the cones before nature has a chance to do its work.