Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Scrub Pine, Sand Pine
Pinus clausa

Family: Pinaceae (py-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pinus (PY-nus) (Info)
Species: clausa (KLAW-suh) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Pinus clausa by Floridian

By Floridian
Thumbnail #2 of Pinus clausa by Floridian

By Floridian
Thumbnail #3 of Pinus clausa by Floridian

By Floridian
Thumbnail #4 of Pinus clausa by Floridian

By NativePlantFan9
Thumbnail #5 of Pinus clausa by NativePlantFan9

By NativePlantFan9
Thumbnail #6 of Pinus clausa by NativePlantFan9

By MollyMc
Thumbnail #7 of Pinus clausa by MollyMc


6 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative waxtadpole On Sep 24, 2010, waxtadpole from Middleburg, FL wrote:

Sand pine is not native to my area (Clay County, FL), but was planted here in tree farms to be used in the production of cheap, high-acid pulp paper. Their life span seems to be about 40 years, and the ones planted in the area that is now the subdivision where we live are at the end of their lifespans and are ending their lives in what is apparently their typical fashion -- they fall over. I don't think they are particularly lovely to look at; I prefer long-leaf pines, which are now beginning to make a comeback as the native species here. Part of the problem with sand pines here, of course, is the way in which they were planted for farming, the very unnatural straight rows, with the trees crowded together. But the density of their original planting here for farming has created the problem of their rather dense reproduction.

I'm just not a big fan of this tree, but that is probably more the fault of their unnatural planting and use here than of the characteristics of the tree itself.

Positive tennesseestorm On Jul 25, 2010, tennesseestorm from Bristol, TN wrote:

Although I never thought it would grow here in the hills of northeast Tennessee (@1500 ft where I live), I have had one of these Sand pines for about 4 years now and it has thrived. First winter I had the seedling, the needles did brown, but they have been fine ever since. It has endured record lows as cold as 5 (which is 20 colder than our coldest average winter low). I love it. Its right at home with my Longleaf pines, Slash pines, Pond pine and Loblolly pines. All of which also have thrived. (Loblolly is the only one of these that are native to my area).

Positive MollyMc On Sep 24, 2008, MollyMc from Archer/Bronson, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

When I moved here in 2005 there wasn't a sand pine to be found. My property consisted of primarily Long Leaf Pine and Turkey Oaks. And yes, I live on a sand hill (scrub). 2 years ago the forestry department did some controlled burning on the State Preserve located directed behind my land.

Last year sand pines popped up all over the place. I suspect the burning sent some dormant seeds into the wind and they ended up here. Many of them are now 4-5 feet tall. Slow growers? I would say, not necessarily. I had to move some of them to make room for the pool and to keep them from the power lines. Unlike the Long Leaf which does not tolerate transplanting, the Sand Pines never skipped a beat. I suspect that is because they do not have the long tap root as other pines.

I hope to move some others into more desireable areas for their privacy and shade benefits.

Does anyone know the life span of a sand pine?

Positive escambiaguy On Sep 10, 2007, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Sand pine is common along the gulf coast of Alabama and NW Florida. While they are very drought tolerant, they are not tolerant of salt water flooding. Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis, and Katrina caused large numbers of sand pines to die along the coast.

Positive melody On Jan 28, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree is capable of rapid re-forestation after fires. It gives wildlife shelter and secures the sand dunes.

The small to medium sized pine has very smooth twigs and the 2" to 3" cones remain on the tree. The cones have scale tips with black inside edges and the prickles are very small , or absent. The slender needles are 2" to 4" long and the sheaths are 1/8" to 1/4".

grows well in poor, sandy soil.

Positive TREEHUGR On Dec 18, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I find it amazing how these are found growing in what seems like pure sand. You wouldn't know they were endangered by visiting my area as they can be found all up and down US1 in Martin and St. Lucie counties and beyond. But it's true, where they like to call home also happens to be very desirable real estate for humans too.

You can identify them by short needles and low height. Slow growers. Unlike P. elliotti, these are typically found with lower branches which resemble the form of P. taeda.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Jul 21, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Sand pines are very valuable trees that provide food and shelter for wildlife. They grow on coastal dunes, high sandhills and scrub (including scrubby flatwoods) throughout much of Florida, notably southeast (where I live), central, and northern Florida, mostly on the Panhandle. They are excellent native trees and are extremely drought tolerant as they grow in the dry Florida scrub. I visit some parks and see large stands of them growing in the scrub. I'm unsure whether seeds of these excellent trees are available and if they can be planted in someone's yard for now, but I hope so. They are becoming very, very rare as their scrub habitat is being heavily destroyed, especially in my area. Non-native plants such as Brazilian Peppertree (see my comment on it there), Australian Pine, Melalueca, and others also are threatening unique plants, native wildlife and this species, including the unique scrub. They grow in zones 8b, 9, 10a, 10b, and 11 as well as further south. They are prone to fire, though, and may take a while to grow back. If seeds are available, I give this tree a thumbs up!

Neutral Floridian On Feb 10, 2004, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Sand pine is found primarily in central and northern Florida and parts of southeastern Alabama. Many threatened and/or endangered species of wildlife live in or in some way use sand pine forests. Two examples are the Florida Scrub Jay and Gopher Tortoise. These trees provide cover and nesting sites for many types of birds and squirrels and
rodents feed on the seeds.
As humans encroach we are losing much of the sand pine forests and this further endangers many species


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Orange Beach, Alabama
Archer, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Bristol, Tennessee

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