Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii)

Status: Native

Size: up to about 100'

Habitat: uplands areas that are generally dry. They prefer to be in full sun.

Distinguishing Characteristics: the primary pine species, large generally with two or three needles about 8" long

Uses: Historically used in the production of turpentine which was made by distilling the sap. Also used for timber products such as lumber.

Other Information: Slash Pine can be very sensitive to physical damage, fire and various fungi. Dead Slash Pine are also an integral part of the Picayune ecosystem. Often one will see red shouldered hawks or woodpeckers in them and they are home to many insects. 

Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)

Distinguishing Characteristics: The primary large palm,  they have palmate fronds growing from the top of the trunk.

Size: Up to 60 feet

Habitat: uplands often seen with Slash Pine

Distinguishing Characteristics: The primary large palm,  they have palmate fronds growing from the top of the trunk.

Uses: A useful tree, the heart can be eaten although it will kill it, the berries have also used been used to make flower. The palmate fronds can be used for building shelters and all parts are good for building fires.

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Status: Native

Size: usually 50-60 feet, but can much larger 

Habitat: low areas that are seasonably wet.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Cypress Trees are one of the most unique looking tree in the Picayune Strand. They have large buttressed bases, feathery needles that drop in the winter, and larger trees will start producing knees.

Uses: There are still trams which are evidence of the cypress logging in the 1950s. Cypress is a very rot resistant wood useful in many applications, although it is now protected from being cut in the Picayune Strand. The cones are eaten by many birds and squirrels.

Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

Status: Native

Size: 60 feet tall

Habitat: Oak Hammocks mark the high spots in the Picayune Strand, they usually grow in groups.

Distinguishing Characteristics: The Live Oak when mature is a large spreading tree. It is an evergreen as the name suggests although it generally drops its leaves before regrowing new ones. Look for the grey bark, acorns, small simple toothed leaves. Often seen with Spanish moss hanging off the branches.

Uses: The lumber is very strong, the USS Constitution was made of Live Oak earning the nickname "Old Ironsides". A great shade tree and the acorns produced are eaten by many animals.

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Status: Native

Size: 75 feet generally smaller than specimens found up north.

Habitat: Likes swampy seasonally wet areas, can also grow in uplands but is more susceptible to fire.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Three pointed maple leaf, seasonally red, winged seeds in the fall and winter. Usually has fairly smooth bark.

Uses: While the Red Maple can be tapped to make maple syrup like its cousin the sugar maple it is unable to compartmentalize the wound like the sugar maple can so it will cause permanent damage.