Slash Pine is a fast-growing tree common to all parts of Florida. Partly because of its abundant seed production, it has replaced Longleaf Pine on large areas protected from fire. Second growth stands of Slash Pine form a large proportion of the pine forests of Florida.
Slash Pine and Longleaf Pine are the two species that produce crude pine gum for naval stores. Slash Pine is the better gum producer.
The seedlings of some plants found in southernmost Florida go through a "grass stage" like Longleaf Pine. Some taxonomists recognize these as a separate variety, the South Florida Slash Pine (P. elliottii var. densa).
Because of its rapid growth, ease of propagation, and early yield of timber and crude gum, Slash Pine promises excellent returns when planted and grown as a crop. The trunk is straight, clear of low branches, and has a rounded crown.
The needles, which occur in bundles of two or three, are from five to 10 inches long, dark green, shiny, and thickly-set on the branches.
The cones are mostly three to six inches long, brown, and glossy; each scale is armed with a fine prickle. The wood is heavy, hard, strong, tough, durable, and very resinous. Its lumber is generally sold as "longleaf pine," and is used for general construction purposes.