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Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Human Use

Historically, slash pines were a major resource for the naval stores industry. Pines produced turpentine and crude rosins that were used for a variety of purposes. Although the naval stores industry has all but disappeared from Florida, you can still find old slash pine stands with "catface" scars. The gum tappers formed the scars by injuring the tree with a triangular cut in the bark surface.

While insects and disease can damage healthy slash pine stands, trees with "cat-face" scars are more susceptible to pine bark beetles and are vulnerable to mortality due to fire. Today, the species is dominant in the timber industry of the Southeast. The wood of this tree is used for railroad ties, fuel, lumber, and pulp. It is often used as a roadside ornamental in several areas of the Deep South. 

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