Alabama State Tree
Adoption of the Alabama State Tree
Hugh Kaul was a respected Birmingham businessman (president and treasurer of Kaul Lumber Company) and civic leader. He was also a founder, director and president of the Alabama Forestry Council. In 1938, Mr. Kaul was elected to the Alabama Legislature. He served for four terms.
It was during this time that he introduced a bill to name the southern pine the official state tree of Alabama. At one time, this hard, straight tree was the dominant tree species in the South. Its wood is heavy, very hard, strong and durable. Because of its tall, straight growth habits, it is often used for poles in addition to dimension lumber, flooring and pulpwood. It's not too hard to see why Mr. Kaul would be interested in naming the southern pine the official state tree. The southern pine was adopted as Alabama's state tree in 1949.
The 1949 bill did not name a particular species, but the bill's sponsor, Hugh Kaul, stated that he meant the longleaf pine. This was cleared up in 1997 when, on May 22, 1997, Governor Forrest Hood (Fob) James, Jr. signed State Representative Gerald Willis' House Bill No. 533 specifically naming the southern longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) as the official state tree of Alabama.
The longleaf pine, adopted by Alabama as the "Southern longleaf pine" is also known as longstraw, yellow, southern yellow, swamp, hard or heart, pitch, and Georgia pine.
The Code of Alabama 1975
The following information is excerpted from the Code of Alabama 1975, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 1-2-12.
The southern longleaf pine, Pinus palustris Miller, is hereby designated and named as the official state tree of Alabama. A specimen of the state tree shall be deposited in the Auburn University Herbarium, which is the State Herbarium for Alabama.
(Acts 1949, No. 143, p. 169; Acts 1997, No. 97-548, p. 962, §1.)
Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) P. Mill.: Tree Identification Fact Sheet from the Virginia Tech.
Plant Profile for Pinus palustris P. Mill. (Longleaf Pine): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Pinus palustris (Southern Longleaf Pine): United States Department of Agriculture: Forest Service: Agriculture Handbook 654: Silvics of North America.
Pinus palustris (Southern Yellow Pine): Plant Encyclopedia from MyGardenGuide.
Alabama State Tree: The longleaf pine, Alabama's state tree from the Alabama Forestry Commisssion.
State Tree List: List of all of the state state trees.
A Field Guide to Eastern Trees (Peterson Field Guides) (Paperback): by George A. Petrides, Janet Wehr (Illustrator), Roger Tory Peterson (Series Editor), Houghton Mifflin; 2 edition (July 15, 1998).
A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs : Northeastern and north-central United States and southeastern and south-central Canada (Peterson Field Guides(R)): by George A. Petrides (Illustrator), Roger Tory Peterson (Series Editor), Houghton Mifflin; 2 edition (September 6, 1973).
A Field Guide to Eastern Forests : North America (Peterson Field Guides(R)) (Paperback): by John C. Kricher (Photographer), Gordon Morrison (Illustrator), Roger Tory Peterson (Series Editor), Houghton Mifflin (October 15, 1998).
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees : Eastern Region: by Elbert Luther Little. Knopf; Chanticleer Press ed edition (May 12, 1980).
America's Famous and Historic Trees: From George Washington's Tulip Poplar to Elvis Presley's Pin Oak (Hardcover) by Jeffrey G. Meyer. America's Famous and Historic Trees tells the stories of various trees that Meyer and his cohorts rescued or propagated: oftentimes, when trees were going to be cut down, he and his workers headed off the bulldozers, rescuing the tree with their massive tree hoe. Other trees--like the Indian Marker Pecan in southeast Dallas--were propagated before they died.
Trees : National Champions (Hardcover) by Barbara Bosworth. Bosworth captures the ineffable grace and dignity of trees with clarity and directness: the green ash that shades a midwestern crossroads, the common pear that blooms in a Washington field, and the Florida strangler fig with its mass of entwining aerial roots. Her black and white photographs, panoramic views taken with an 8 x 10 camera, show the immensity of the largest species and the hidden triumphs of the smallest
Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.
Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)
Source: Alabama Legislative Information System, (http://www.legislature.state.al.us/ALISNetHome.html), October 1, 2005
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