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Old 06-13-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default The answer is the Longleaf Pine

Endangered plants ,especially trees, are just the tip of the iceberg. Whole communities have adapted to survival within these communities and helping them all survive often starts with the plant.

Endangered Species Program | ESA Success Story

“Whatever the question in the Southeast, the answer is longleaf pine.”
Which southern pine tree species is most resistant to beetle infestation? Longleaf.
Which southern pine thrives during wet or dry periods? Longleaf.
Withstands hurricane-force winds? Tolerates fire? Is best for wildlife? Longleaf, longleaf, and longleaf.
Longleaf reigned because it can grow in a broad range of habitats, from dry mountain slopes to sandy, swampy soils. It evolved with the southern pine beetle and frequent fire. Its large taproot provides a firm anchor, helping the tree withstand strong winds. In many aspects, longleaf wins over loblolly and slash pines, although many tree farmers prefer those yellow pines for their faster early growth and easier regeneration.
Today only pockets of the vast longleaf pine forest are left, totaling less than 4 percent of its historic range due to land clearing for development and agriculture, fire suppression, and the conversion of tree farms to short-rotation pines
As the longleaf pine forest dwindled in the 1700s and 1800s, so did species dependent on the longleaf ecosystem. Those include 29 federally protected animals and plants, including the red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis), Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and Cooley’s Meadowrue (Thalictrum cooleyi). Of the 290 species of amphibians and reptiles that occur in the Southeast, 170 are found in the remnants of the longleaf pine forest.
Additionally, nearly 900 plant species occur only in the longleaf forests. It is counter-intuitive, but the monoculture of a forest dominated by longleaf pines leads to rich biodiversity of animals and plants that depend on its ecosystem
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

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Old 06-13-2013, 01:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Burlington, VT

When I worked in central NC, I had the pleasure of surveying these forests sometimes, and they are truly beautiful. This is a short video I took of a successfully managed private longleaf pine community.

Longleaf Pine Savannah - YouTube
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:12 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Michigan/detroit

The long leaf is fire-resistant but luckily like the Redwoods in the PNW an intense fire will burn cavities which wildlife can call home.

Strong winds may not uproot the long leaf but tearing off a few limbs provides opportunities for more cavity nests.
Prairie Plants
First year they sleep
Second year they creep
Third year they leap; So plant some today
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania

Not living in the South, I almost didn't open this thread, but...
Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
Endangered plants ,especially trees, are just the tip of the iceberg. Whole communities have adapted to survival within these communities and helping them all survive often starts with the plant.
This quote is applicable to anywhere. I have been hoping that, by establishing some of my favorite natives, I'm creating the right conditions to establish several mini-community that I've come to love in nature.
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
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answer, longleaf, pine

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