Southern Longleaf yellow pine, pitch pine or old growth pine are other names for the very popular Heart Pine. From flooring to furniture and cabinetry, many people across the country are rediscovering the natural beauty of Heart Pine. Given the name because of the high content of heart wood, Heart Pine is different from other pines because of the tight growth ring pattern and its unique red/amber color.
The history of heart pine begins in the south where virgin forests of Longleaf Pine covered nearly 70 million acres of the southeastern coastal plain of the United States. Averaging 150 miles in width, these majestic forests ran from Virginia to central Florida, and westward along the gulf coast as far west as Texas. Many of these trees reached to heights of 175 feet and took from 150 - 400 years to mature.
Because of its unique beauty and strength, Heart Pine was used in public buildings, private homes and plantations. Most early homes in the South used Heart Pine for flooring, furniture and cabinetry. Because of the tremendous structural strength of Heart Pine, it was used extensively in larger construction as well.
From the large industrial buildings in Chicago to Boston and the textile mills through out the South, Heart Pine played a key role in building the Industrial Revolution. By the turn of the century virtually all of this Heart Pine had been harvested and used in the building of factories and warehouses throughout America.