Male Longleaf Pine, Ben Hill County

Longleaf Pine Pinus palustris Bloom Male Cone Formation Ben Hill County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Most people are familiar with pine cones. But those are the woody, female cones. Not everyone would recognize this herbaceous bloom as the male cone, but it’s a beautiful thing in its own right. The longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) was once the dominant tree of the South, covering 92 million acres throughout the region. Today, it survives on just 3 million scattered acres.  Responsible landowners have begun to plant them in an effort to restore habitat and state agencies throughout the South manage them on public lands.  For a beautiful illustrated work on the subject, check out Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See, from the University of North Carolina Press. For a volume that speaks lyrically of the ecology of our wonderful South Georgia forests and the human culture they’ve always supported, read my friend Janisse Ray’s Ecology of a Cracker Childhood.






Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--

4 responses to “Male Longleaf Pine, Ben Hill County

  1. Kay Smith

    Thanks for your pictures and information, Brian. I have a small farm in Bacon County which I inherited from my family, Mr. And Mrs. WB Cain, Jr. I am a third generation owner. I refurbished an 1892 house built on the main Farm of my family that was bought by my father in 1892 and we can trace all the owners of this Farm.

    I hopefully am sending you pictures of the house that my grandfather, William Ballard Cain built in the Early 1930’s and my house and as it looks rebuilt.

    Keep taking your great pictures. We are out here and we are looking and enjoying!

    Sincerely, Kay Cain Smith
    Could not find pictures of the double front doors shotgun house that my Grandfather built. This picture of my old, rebuilt 1892 house and was made around the very late ’50’s. My grandfather with the big black hat died in the Fall of 1959.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Sally Breen

    Brian, my husband and I were just in Lumpkin and Providence Canyon on Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, 2016. We were at the Providence Methodist Church and cemetery where some of my Walton relatives are buried. I am creating a personal document about the various cemeteries and churches where my Georgia relatives are buried. I really like your photo of the Providence Methodist Church. May I have your permission to use your photo if I credit you with the photo? Though I am creating this document for personal use, I will put it on my Ancestry site so that others can benefit from my/our work. Thank you for your commitment to preserving Georgia heritage.

  3. Jesse M. Bookhardt

    Thanks for the Longleaf Pine blossom picture. It is most beautiful. I love the color that only Mother Nature can make. I remember that long time ago when South Georgia was covered with dirt roads and sandy ditches, there grew several Longleaf pines near our house. Needing money, my brother John and I decided that we could make a few bucks by gathering pine cones and selling them to a seasonal seed buyer up at Sinclair’s Grocery in Snipesville. Expending quite a bit of energy and sweat, we lugged a long ladder and some bushel baskets up the dirt road to a site where we had previously observed several pines with large green cones basking in the late fall sunshine. After a spell, we had filled all our containers and had dragged our harvest back down the sandy, rutted road home; all the while, enjoying visions of the money that would be forthcoming.
    Soon the seed cones were taken to Arlie Sinclair’s store. Happy as could be, when we got there and presented our haul to the buyer, he said, “Hey, boys these things are worthless. They are Longleaf pine cones and we have no need for them. They grow too slowly. All we are buying are Loblolly Pine cones. Why don’t you go home and pick those baskets full of them”?
    To say the least, we were disappointed. We dropped our heads and traipsed back home dejected. The Longleaf Pine was on its downward slide at the time. Today it is comforting to know that man has recognized the advantages of the hardy, tough, strong, beautiful Longleaf Pine and are taking steps to restore the tree and its related eco-system. May the Longleaf Pine never vanish from South Georgia.

  4. Thanks for !, Betty....beautiful and inspiring

    Thanks for this, Brian…..a beautiful photograph and a helpful reference to 2 great sounding books that I’ll soon have!

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