mountain pine usually grows along with hardwoods and other pines
or in small pure stands on dry, rocky slopes and ridges in the
mountains and upper Piedmont.
The needles are rigid, usually twisted, 11/2 to 2 1/2 inches long,
in fascicles (bundles) of two that are often crowded in clusters.
They are dark bluish-green and are deciduous in either the second
or third year.
The cones of this pine are 2 1/2 to 3 inches long and in clusters
of three or four (sometimes more). They are light brown, lustrous
when ripe and are armed with a stout, hooked spine at the top
of each scale. The cones have a very knobby appearance. They may
open and shed seed as soon as they ripen or remain closed on the
tree for two to three years or longer.
The thick bark is separated into irregular plates on the lower
part of the trunk; the surface of the plates is covered with thin,
loose, dark-brown scales that are tinged with red,
The tree commonly is about 30 to 40 feet tall in forest stands,
with trunk diameters of 1 to 1 1/2 feet. In the open, the tree
has a short trunk and a spreading, irregular crown. The wood is
light, soft, not strong, resinous and coarse-grained. It is used
for rough lumber, pulpwood and fuel wood.