Southern Yellow Pine is not a single species of lumber. Loblolly Pine, Longleaf Pine, Shortleaf Pine, and Slash Pine are all referred to as Southern Yellow Pine. They all are large trees, with a wide distribution area, generally from Texas along the eastern seaboard as far north as southern New Jersey, depending on the exact species.
In its habitat, Southern Yellow Pine trees can reach heights of 150 feet and diameters of 5 feet (Loblolly.) The sapwood is very wide in new-growth trees. It is yellowish white, while the heartwood is a reddish brown. It takes the trees about 20 years of growth before the heartwood forms.
Southern Yellow Pine is noted for being a hard, stiff pine. It takes nails well, but may be difficult to glue. It has a straight grain and a medium texture. The relative hardness of the lumber varies with the exact species harvested.
At Goosebay, the Southern Yellow Pine we stock is either Loblolly or Longleaf, which are the two more desirable species. Relative hardness, when dried, will range from 690-870. Compare these values with the hardness of Eastern White Pine at 380 or Norway (Red) Pine at 560.
In New Hampshire, Southern Yellow Pine lumber was a common choice for flooring in new construction from the 1940’s to 1960’s. We also have seen it used at trim in Victorian construction. It is still used as flooring.
Sources: US Department of Agriculture, US Forestry Service. www.fpl.fs.fed.us