"a forest of the great long-leaved pine, the earth covered with grass, interspersed with an infinite variety of herbaceous plants, and embellished with extensive savannas, always green....”
William Bartram, 1791
80 MILLION acres! Consider that for a moment.
Look at the map and imagine the enormity of the forest depicted, a forest extending from Coastal Virginia, south to Central Florida and then west to Texas with it's northern edges being the Appalachian Mountains. Now imagine that forest being composed to the greatest extent of giant trees, many hundreds of years old. And these trees would be spaced not as we see our Southern Forest today, tightly packed, often with thick vegetation surrounding them, but rather spread out such that they looked more park-like than anything else.
If you can imagine all that......and we've provided pictures and links to help you.........well......if you can imagine all that then you have some idea of what William Bartram saw and described as he wandered the South 200+ years ago.
The map and linked information below make more clearly than we can ever hope to the case for longleaf pine.
"Looking For Longleaf". NYT best seller chock full of history about not just longleaf but the "naval stores" industry and the current work towards restoration. We highly recommend it.http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/browse/page/141
The carousel of pictures to the left shows "containerized longleaf seedlings" being planted in February 2011. The same trees at 6 months, at 12 months and then at 4 years. The last is a period picture of a virgin longleaf stand. We'll be updating these as this stand grows. And we'll be adding more pictures as we convert more of our land to longleaf.