Description of Loblolly Pine Plantation
Kent and Sussex Counties host most of the Loblolly Pine Plantations in Delaware. Composed of rows of planted loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), they often do not have any other species present. This can be due to the density of the pine canopy or the acidity of the needles. Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) may join the canopy in some stands. Inkberry (Ilex glabra) may populate the understory. The United States Vegetation Classification System code for Loblolly Pine Plantation is CEGL007179.
Loblolly Pine Plantation in 2007 Aerial Imagery
Loblolly Pine Plantation is one of the easiest vegetation communities to identify in Delaware. Because of the rows of pine, the stands look like lines of ground beef.
The picture below was taken from a plane.
Similar Communities to Loblolly Pine Plantation
When plantations are young it is sometimes hard to distinguish between them and Early to Mid-Successional Loblolly Pine Forest. However, many times the rows are faintly evident. In very dense stands rows are indistinct. Generally, Early to Mid-Successional Loblolly Pine Forest will cover these cases until rows become more distinct. Abandoned plantations can become Mid to Late Successional Loblolly Pine-Sweetgum Forests by virtue of the hardwoods growing into the canopy. Be aware of this when mapping communities. Rarely, Virginia Pine Successional Forest can present the appearance of a Loblolly Pine Plantation. However, location and color serve to separate them. Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana) has darker red color than loblolly pine. Difficult cases require multi-spectral imagery.