Southern Yellow Pine is actually a species group that is made up of primarily four trees: loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), long leaf pine (Pinus palustris), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) and slash pine (Pinus eliottii) Together they make up the commercial classification called Southern Yellow Pine (SYP).
Loblolly Pine is the most important and predominant of the four. It grows 80 to 100 feet tall with a trunk diameter averaging 2 to 5 feet. It grows throughout the Atlantic Coastal Plain, often in commercial stands, from Maryland south through all the Carolinas and Georgia into Florida, and westward to East Texas.
Southern yellow pine grows fast and straight up with a clear long trunk. It is classified as a hard pine and is harder than white pine. It is successfully planted by plantation growers in huge tracts. All of this makes it a very practical timber tree.
The color of the wood is warm pale yellow with a distinctive light and dark grain pattern. The upper grades of SYP are clear and straight grained. It machines easily. It is durable when properly handled, installed and finished. It is very stable in service.
The upper grades take paint nicely, but the rich grain patterns lend themselves especially well to staining, pickling and polyurethaning.
Southern yellow pine is heavier, stronger and harder than many other species. Because of its high degree of structural strength it is used extensively for framing. It also takes treatment well which makes it an ideal wood for outdoor use such as decks. Today 50% of all the SYP sold is pressure treated.
Its use in the manufacture of plywood has also made it one of the most useful wood products in today`s market.
SYP is used in construction as subflooring and sheathing, joists and framing. It is also enjoying expanded use in millwork. Its rich golden color and low price give it great advantage.