Pinus pungens Lamb., Ann. Bot. 2: 198. 1805.
DERIVATION: Sharp-point, from the peculiar, stout, hooked spines on the cones.
OTHER COMMON NAMES: hickory pine, mountain pine, prickly pine, squirrel pine.
*(From Little, 1979.)
Table Mountain pine is endemic to the Appalachian Mountains. This tree was first collected around 1794 near Tablerock Mountain in Burke County, North Carolina, hence the common name `Table Mountain pine'. Restricted to rocky, dry ridges and slopes, it is scattered throughout its range and sometimes forms small populations in suitable areas.
Human uses: Locally for fuelwood. Commercially used for pulpwood and low-grade timber.
Animal uses: Food and shelter. Using its teeth, the red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, will cut a cone-bearing branch from the tree. Once on the ground, the cone is removed from the branch in the same manner. One by one, the squirrel chews away cone scales from the base to the apex of the cone and consumes the seeds inside. Because of this activity, Pinus pungens has locally been dubbed "squirrel pine".
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