Gainesville is the county seat and largest city in Alachua County, United States, the principal city of the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population of Gainesville in the 2017 US Census estimates was 132,249, a 6.4% growth from 2010. Gainesville is the largest city in the region of North Central Florida, it is a component of the Gainesville-Lake City Combined Statistical Area, which had a 2013 population of 337,925. Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, the nation's fifth-largest university campus by enrollment, as well as to Santa Fe College. Gainesville is located at 29°39'55" North, 82°20'10" West, the same latitude as Houston, Texas. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 62.4 square miles, of which 61.3 square miles is land and 1.1 square miles is water. The total area is 1.74% water. Gainesville's tree canopy is both dense and species rich, including broadleaf evergreens and deciduous species. Gainesville is the only city with more than 10,000 residents in the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, it is surrounded by rural area, including the 21,000-acre wilderness of Paynes Prairie on its southern edge.
The city is characterized by its medium size and central location, about 90 minutes' driving time from either Jacksonville or Orlando, two hours from Tampa, five hours from either Atlanta or Miami. The area is dominated by the University of Florida, which in 2008 was the third-largest university by enrollment in the US, as of 2016 was the fifth-largest. Gainesville's climate is defined as humid subtropical. Due to its inland location, Gainesville experiences wide temperature fluctuations for Florida, it is part of USDA Plant hardiness zone 9a. During the hot season, from May 15 to September 30, the city's climate is similar to the rest of the state, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms and high humidity. Temperatures range from the low 70s at night to around 92 °F during the day on average; the all-time record high of 104 °F was reached on June 27, 1952. From November through March, the Gainesville area has a climate distinct from much of peninsular Florida with 16 nights of freezing or below temperatures and sustained freezes occurring every few years.
The all-time record low of 6 °F was reached on February 13, 1899, the city experienced light snow and freezing rain on Christmas Eve, 1989. Traces of snow were recorded in 1977, 1996, 2010 and 2016; the daily average temperature in January is 54.3 °F. As with the rest of the state, cold temperatures are always accompanied by clear skies and high pressure systems. Temperatures reaching 100 °F or falling below 20 °F are rare, having occurred on June 16, 2015 and January 11, 2010; the city's flora and fauna are distinct from coastal regions of the state, include many deciduous species, such as dogwood, maple and sweet gum, alongside palms, live oaks, other evergreens. Thus the city enjoys brief periods of fall color in late November and December and a noticeable, prolonged spring from mid-February through early April; this is a pleasant period, as colorful blooms of azalea and redbud complement a cloudless blue sky, for this is the period of the lowest precipitation and lowest humidity. The city averages 47.33 inches of rain per year.
June through September accounts for a majority of annual rainfall, while autumn and early winter is the driest period. Since the 1990s, suburban sprawl has been a concern for a majority of the city commissioners; the "New Urbanization" plan to gentrify the area between historic Downtown and the University of Florida may slow the growth of suburban sectors and spark a migration toward upper-level apartments in the inner city. The area north of the university is seeing active redevelopment. Many gentrification plans rely on tax incentives that have sparked controversy and are sometimes unsuccessful. University Corners, which would not have been proposed without a $98 million tax incentive program by the city, was to be "a crowning jewel of the city's redevelopment efforts", 450 condos and hotel units and 98,000 square feet of retail space in eight stories covering three city blocks, on 3.4 acres purchased for $15.5 million. 19 thriving businesses were demolished in April 2007, but in May 2008 deposit checks were refunded to about 105 people who reserved units, in July 2008 developers spent "$120,000 to beautify the site, so we won't have this ugly green fence."Gainesville's east side houses the majority of the city's African-American community, while the west side consists of the student and white resident population.
West of the city limits are large-scale planned communities, most notably Haile Plantation, built on the site of its eponymous former plantation. The destruction of the city's landmark Victorian courthouse in the 1960s, which some considered unnecessary, brought the idea of historic preservation to the community's attention; the bland county building that replaced the grand courthouse became known to some locals as the "air conditioner". Additional destruction of other historic buildings in the downtown followed. Only a small handful of older buildings are left, like the Hippodrome State Theatre, at one time a feder
Central Florida is a region of the Southern U. S. state of Florida. Different sources give different definitions for the region, but as its name implies it is said to comprise the central part of the state, including the Orlando area, it is one of Florida's three directional regions, along with South Florida. It includes the following counties: Brevard, Hardee, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Orange, Pasco, Polk, Seminole and Volusia. Like many vernacular regions, Central Florida's boundaries are not official or consistent, are defined differently by different sources. A 2007 study of Florida's regions by geographers Ary Lamme and Raymond K. Oldakowski found that Floridians surveyed identified Central Florida as comprising a large swath of peninsular Florida; this area encompassed the interior, including the Orlando metropolitan area, coastal stretches from the Big Bend south to the Tampa Bay Area in the west and from Daytona Beach south to Martin County in the east. In addition, North Central Florida has emerged as a vernacular region representing the interior area in the northern part of the state.
Central Florida is one of Florida's three most common directional regions, the others being North Florida and South Florida. Lamme and Oldakowski note that the directional region is more used in the interior areas rather than on the coast. In fact, while coastal areas have their own regional vernacular identities such as the Space Coast and the Nature Coast, no vernacular regions were reported on the interior of the state other than Central Florida. Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development agency, identifies "Central Florida" as one of eight economic regions used by the agency and other state and outside entities, including the Florida Department of Transportation; this definition covers much of the same area as in Lamme and Oldakowski's survey, with some exceptions. It excludes North Central Florida, as well as the southern coastal counties; the Central region includes the Orlando metropolitan area and Sumter Counties in the interior, Volusia and Brevard Counties on the coast. The central cities of both metropolitan areas are in close proximity, as a result, their two metropolitan areas blend together in the area of Lakeland to make up a larger contiguous population center referred to as the I-4 corridor.
This is a population concentration that stretches from Tampa Bay on the west coast to Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral on the east coast of the state. With the exception of hill terrain in southern Lake County, Hernando County, Pasco County and Polk County, Central Florida is flatland with significant amounts of open space and over 1,500 lakes and ponds. There is a mixture of wetlands, Oak and Pine forests, pastures and coastline. Major rivers include the St. Johns River, the Ocklawaha River, the Halifax River, the Econlockhatchee River. Major lakes include Lake Apopka, Lake Tohopekaliga, East Lake Tohopekaliga, Lake Louisa, Lake Monroe, Lake Jessup, the Butler Chain of Lakes. There are over 100 miles of coastline in Central Florida along the Atlantic Coast. Major beaches include Canaveral National Seashore, New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic Beach near Melbourne. Hurricanes are a threat to the coastal cities as evident by the 2004 hurricane season, which brought three major hurricanes to the Central Florida area: Charley and Frances.
Winters are dry and temperate with the average winter high temperature in Orlando being 72 °F. Summers are hot and humid with high temperatures averaging 92 °F. Peak summer heat arrives in early June and continues to early October; the combination of high temperatures, high humidity, opposing sea breezes from both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, results in significant thunderstorm activity from June to September for the interior counties. Central Florida records more lightning strikes per area than any other region in Florida, Florida records more lightning strikes than any other state in the USA; as a result and more Central Florida, is referred to as the "Thunderstorm capital of the USA", or "Lightning Alley". These severe thunderstorms make Central Florida prone to many tornadoes. However, they are small, short lived, always rated as EF0 or EF1 size storms. At the end of the Civil War most of Central Florida was barely-inhabitable wetlands, it took a major drainage project financed by Philadelphia businessman Hamilton Disston in the 1880s to make the land available for settlement.
Sanford was incorporated in 1877 as port city at the intersection of Lake Monroe and the St. Johns River, it was envisioned as a transportation center, the city's founder, Henry S. Sanford, nicknamed it "the Gate City of South Florida", it became a hub for shipping agricultural products, which earned the city another nickname, "Celery City". Kissimmee boomed in the 1880s, it was the headquarters of Hamilton Disston's drainage company, The city was an important regional steamship port, owing that status to its location on Lake Tohopekaliga. The expansion of the railroads into Central Florida eliminated the need for Kissimmee's steamship industry; the Great Freeze of 1894-95 ruined citrus crops which had a detrimental ripple effect on the economy. The hard-packed sand of Volusia County's beaches lent itself to auto races beginning in 1903, before paved roads were common, leading to the area's reputation for cars and racing. Ormond Beach was a popular spot for those who liked fast cars after the
A spring is a point at which water flows from an aquifer to the Earth's surface. It is a component of the hydrosphere. A spring may be the result of karst topography where surface water has infiltrated the Earth's surface, becoming part of the area groundwater; the groundwater travels through a network of cracks and fissures—openings ranging from intergranular spaces to large caves. The water emerges from below the surface, in the form of a karst spring; the forcing of the spring to the surface can be the result of a confined aquifer in which the recharge area of the spring water table rests at a higher elevation than that of the outlet. Spring water forced to the surface by elevated sources are artesian wells; this is possible if the outlet is in the form of a 300-foot-deep cave. In this case the cave is used like a hose by the higher elevated recharge area of groundwater to exit through the lower elevation opening. Non-artesian springs may flow from a higher elevation through the earth to a lower elevation and exit in the form of a spring, using the ground like a drainage pipe.
Still other springs are the result of pressure from an underground source in the earth, in the form of volcanic activity. The result can be water at elevated temperature such as a hot spring; the action of the groundwater continually dissolves permeable bedrock such as limestone and dolomite, creating vast cave systems. Seepage or filtration spring; the term seep refers to springs with small flow rates in which the source water has filtered through permeable earth. Fracture springs, discharge from faults, joints, or fissures in the earth, in which springs have followed a natural course of voids or weaknesses in the bedrock. Tubular springs, in which the water flows from underground caverns. Spring discharge, or resurgence, is determined by the spring's recharge basin. Factors that affect the recharge include the size of the area in which groundwater is captured, the amount of precipitation, the size of capture points, the size of the spring outlet. Water may leak into the underground system from many sources including permeable earth and losing streams.
In some cases entire creeks disappear as the water sinks into the ground via the stream bed. Grand Gulf State Park in Missouri is an example of an entire creek vanishing into the groundwater system; the water emerges 9 miles away. Human activity may affect a spring's discharge—withdrawal of groundwater reduces the water pressure in an aquifer, decreasing the volume of flow. Springs are classified by the volume of the water they discharge; the largest springs are called "first-magnitude", defined as springs that discharge water at a rate of at least 2800 liters or 100 cubic feet of water per second. Some locations contain many first-magnitude springs, such as Florida where there are at least 27 known to be that size; the scale for spring flow is as follows: Minerals become dissolved in the water as it moves through the underground rocks. This may give the water flavor and carbon dioxide bubbles, depending on the nature of the geology through which it passes; this is why spring water is bottled and sold as mineral water, although the term is the subject of deceptive advertising.
Springs that contain significant amounts of minerals are sometimes called'mineral springs'. Springs that contain large amounts of dissolved sodium salts sodium carbonate, are called'soda springs'. Many resorts are known as spa towns. Water from springs is clear; however some springs may be colored by the minerals. For instance, water heavy with iron or tannins will have an orange color. In parts of the United States a stream carrying the outflow of a spring to a nearby primary stream may be called a spring branch or run. Groundwater tends to maintain a long-term average temperature of its aquifer; the cool water of a spring and its branch may harbor species such as certain trout that are otherwise ill-suited to a warmer local climate. Springs have been used for a variety of human needs including drinking water, domestic water supply, mills and electricity generation. Other modern uses include recreational activities such as fishing and floating. A sacred spring, or holy well, is a small body of water emerging from underground and revered either in a Christian, pagan or other religious context, sometimes both.
The lore and mythology of ancient Greece was replete with sacred and storied springs—notably, the Corycian and Castalian. In medieval Europe, holy wells were pagan sacred sites that became Christianized; the term "holy well" is employed to refer to any water source of limited size, which has some significance in local folklore. This can take the form of a particular name, an associated legend, the attribution of healing qualities to the water through the numinous presence of its guardian spirit or Christian saint, or a ceremony or ritual centred on the well site. In Christian legend, the spring water is said to have been made to flow by the action of a saint, a familiar theme in the hagiography of Celtic saints. LaMor
St. Johns River
The St. Johns River is the longest river in the U. S. state of Florida and its most significant one for commercial and recreational use. At 310 miles long, it borders twelve counties; the drop in elevation from headwaters to mouth is less than 30 feet. Numerous lakes are formed by the river or flow into it, but as a river its widest point is nearly 3 miles across; the narrowest point is in an unnavigable marsh in Indian River County. The St. Johns drainage basin of 8,840 square miles includes some of Florida's major wetlands, it is separated into three major basins and two associated watersheds for Lake George and the Ocklawaha River, all managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District. A variety of people have lived on or near the St. Johns, including Paleo-indians, Archaic people, Mocama and Spanish settlers, Seminoles and freemen, Florida crackers, land developers and retirees, it has been the subject of William Bartram's journals, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' books, Harriet Beecher Stowe's letters home.
Although Florida was the location of the first permanent European settlement in what would become the United States, it was the last U. S. territory on the east coast to be developed. When attention was turned to the state, much of the land was overdeveloped in a national zeal for progress; the St. Johns, like many Florida rivers, was altered to make way for agricultural and residential centers, it suffered severe pollution and human interference that has diminished the natural order of life in and around the river. In all, 3.5 million people live within the various watersheds. The St. Johns, named one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in 1998, was number 6 on a list of America's Ten Most Endangered Rivers in 2008. Restoration efforts are under way for the basins around the St. Johns as Florida continues to deal with population increases in the river's vicinity. Starting in Indian River County and meeting the Atlantic Ocean at Duval County, the St. Johns is Florida's primary commercial and recreational waterway.
It flows north from its headwaters, originating in the direction of the Lake Wales Ridge, only elevated at 30 feet above sea level. Because of this low elevation drop, the river has a long backwater, it flows with tides that pass through the barrier islands and up the channel. Uniquely, it shares the same regional terrain as the parallel Kissimmee River, although the Kissimmee flows south; the St. Johns River is separated into three basins and two associated watersheds managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District; because the river flows in a northerly direction, the upper basin is located in the headwaters of the river at its southernmost point. Indian River County is where the river begins as a network of marshes, at a point west of Vero Beach aptly named the St. Johns Marsh in central Florida; the St. Johns River is a blackwater stream, meaning that it is fed by swamps and marshes lying beneath it; the upper basin measures 2,000 square miles. The river touches on the borders of Osceola and Orange Counties, flows through the southeast tip of Seminole County, transitioning into its middle basin a dozen miles or so north of Titusville.
The upper basin of the St. Johns was lowered in the 1920s with the establishment of the Melbourne Tillman drainage project; this drained the St. Johns' headwaters eastward to the Indian River through canals dug across the Ten-Mile Ridge near Palm Bay; as of 2015, these past diversions are being reversed through the first phase of the Canal 1 Rediversion project. The river is at most unpredictable in this basin. Channel flows are not apparent and are unmarked; the most efficient way to travel on this part of the river is by airboat. 3,500 lakes lie within the overall St. Johns watershed; the river flows into many of the lakes. Eight larger lakes and five smaller ones lie in the upper basin. Lakes Washington and Poinsett— named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, a diplomat who brought the poinsettia to the United States— are located further along this stretch of the river; the northernmost points of the upper basin contain the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, created in 1977 to assist with filtration of waters flowing into the larger St. Johns.
Wetlands in the upper and middle basin are fed by rainwater, trapped by the structure of the surrounding land. It is an oxygen- and nutrient-poor environment. Water levels fluctuate with the subtropical dry seasons. Rain in central and north Florida occurs seasonally during summer and winter, but farther south rain in winter is rare. All plants in these basins must tolerate both flooding and drought. Sweetbay and swamp tupelo tre
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
National Park Service ranger
National Park Service rangers are among the uniformed employees charged with protecting and preserving areas set aside in the National Park System by the United States Congress and the President of the United States. While all employees of the agency contribute to the National Park Service mission of preserving unimpaired the natural and cultural resources set aside by the American people for future generations, the term "park ranger" is traditionally used to describe all National Park Service employees who wear the uniform. Broadly speaking, all National Park Service rangers promote stewardship of the resources in their care - either voluntary stewardship via resource interpretation, or compliance with statute or regulation through law enforcement; these comprise the two main disciplines of the ranger profession in the National Park Service. The term "ranger" is from a Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400. "Rangers" patrolled royal forests and parks to prevent "poachers" from hunting game claimed by the nobility.
Use of the term "ranger" dates to the 17th century in the United States, was drawn from the word "range". The title "ranger" in the modern sense was first applied to a reorganization of the fire warden force in the Adirondack Park, after fires burned 80,000 acres in the park; the name was taken from Rogers' Rangers, a small force famous for their woodcraft that fought in the area during the French and Indian War beginning in 1755. The term was adopted by the National Park Service; the first Director of the National Park Service, Stephen T. Mather, reflected upon the early park rangers in the US National Parks as follows: They are a fine, earnest and public-spirited body of men, these rangers. Though small in number, their influence is large. Many and long are the duties. If a trail is to be blazed, it is "send a ranger." If an animal is floundering in the snow, a ranger is sent to pull him out. If a Dude wants to know the why, if a Sagebrusher is puzzled about a road, it is "ask the ranger." Everything the ranger knows, he will tell ex-cept about himself.
Horace Albright, second director of the National Park Service, called Harry Yount, gamekeeper of Yellowstone National Park, the "father of the ranger service, as well as the first national park ranger". Yount was hired in 1880 to enforce the prohibition on hunting in the park. In addition to these duties, he would act as a guide and escort for visiting officials, such as he did in 1880 for the Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz. Although he was paid a yearly salary of $1,000 he resigned at the end of 1881. Before leaving, he suggested to the superintendent of Yellowstone that "...the game and natural curiosities of the park be protected by officers stationed at different points of the park with authority to enforce observance of laws of the park maintenance and trails." Yount pointed out that it was nearly impossible for one person to protect the game properly over the park's vast expanse. The park ranger position in the federal government began as a series of specialized positions in the miscellaneous Series.
In 1959, the official park ranger position was established throughout the federal government. Along with its companion series the park technician; the park ranger position was designated for "professional" work like management of the park, or management of division. The park technician series was designed to handle routine technical skills, i.e. giving walks, patrolling roads, fee collection. After years of concern of pay, the National Park Service and the Office of Personnel Management agreed to consolidate the two series into a single group, to be used only for professional positions and temporary or seasonal positions; the agreement required that the park service begin using other appropriate technical series for lower paid positions. The protection ranger series was changed to "GL"-0025 in 2005. 0025 – park ranger series* - The duties are to supervise and perform work in the conservation and use of federal park resources. This involves functions such as park conservation; the work requires a knowledge of techniques involved in handling special programs.
This series is used for fee collectors at campgrounds and entrance stations. 0189 – recreation aid and assistant series - Provides support to recreation programs by performing limited aspects of recreation work, lifeguards 0090 – guide series - Provides or supervises interpretive and guide services to visitors to sites of public interest. Give formal talks about natural and historic features, explains engineering structures and related water developments, answers questions, guides tours; the duties of the modern park ranger are as varied and diverse as the parks where they serve, in recent years have become more specialized - though they intertwine. Regardless of the regular duties of any one discipline, the goal of all rangers remains to protect the park resources for future generations and to protect park visitors; this goal is accomplished by the professionalism and sometimes overlapping of the different functions and specialties. For example, an interpretive ranger may be
The longleaf pine is a pine native to the Southeastern United States, found along the coastal plain from East Texas to southern Maryland, extending into northern and central Florida. It reaches a height of 30–35 m and a diameter of 0.7 m. In the past, before extensive logging, they grew to 47 m with a diameter of 1.2 m. The tree is a cultural symbol of the Southern United States, being the official state tree of Alabama and the unofficial state tree of North Carolina; the bark is thick, reddish-brown, scaly. The leaves are dark green and needle-like, occur in bundles of three, they are twisted and 20–45 cm in length. It is one of the two Southeastern U. S. pines with long needles, the other being slash pine. The cones, both female seed cones and male pollen cones, are initiated during the growing season before buds emerge. Pollen cones begin forming in their buds in July, while seed conelets are formed during a short period of time in August. Pollination occurs early the following spring, with the male cones 3–8 cm long.
The female cones mature in about 20 months from pollination. The seeds are 7–9 mm long, with a 25–40 mm wing. Longleaf pine may live to be 500 years old; when young, they grow a long taproot, 2–3 m long. They grow on well-drained sandy soil, characteristically in pure stands. Longleaf pine is known as being one of several species grouped as a southern yellow pine or longleaf yellow pine, in the past as pitch pine; the species epithet palustris is Latin for "of the marsh" and indicates its common habitat. The scientific name meaning "of marshes" is a misunderstanding on the part of Philip Miller, who described the species, after seeing longleaf pine forests with temporary winter flooding. Longleaf pine is pyrophytic. Periodic natural wildfire selects for this species by killing other trees, leading to open longleaf pine forests or savannas. New seedlings do not resemble a dark-green fountain of needles; this form is called the grass stage. During this stage, which lasts for 5–12 years, vertical growth is slow, the tree may take a number of years to grow ankle high.
After that, it makes a growth spurt if no tree canopy is above it. In the grass stage, it is resistant to low intensity fires because the terminal bud is protected from lethal heating by the packed needles. While immune to fire at this stage, the plant is quite appealing to feral pigs. Longleaf pine forests are rich in biodiversity, they are well-documented for their high levels of plant diversity, in groups including sedges, carnivorous plants, orchids. These forests provide habitat for gopher tortoises, which as keystone species, dig burrows that provide habitat for hundreds of other species of animals; the red-cockaded woodpecker is dependent on mature pine forests and is now endangered as a result of this decline. Longleaf pine seeds are large and nutritious, forming a significant food source for birds and other wildlife. Nine salamander species and 26 frog species are characteristic of pine savannas, along with 56 species of reptiles, 13 of which could be considered specialists on this habitat.
The Red Hills Region of Florida and Georgia is home to some of the best-preserved stands of longleaf pines. These forests have been burned for many decades to encourage bobwhite quail habitat in private hunting plantations. Vast forests of longleaf pine once were present along the southeastern Atlantic coast and Gulf Coast of North America, as part of the eastern savannas; these forests were the source of naval stores - resin and timber - needed by merchants and the navy for their ships. They have been cutover since for timber and replaced with faster-growing loblolly pine and slash pine, for agriculture, for urban and suburban development. Due to this deforestation and overharvesting, only about 3% of the original longleaf pine forest remains, little new is planted. Longleaf pine is available, however, at many nurseries within its range; the yellow, resinous wood is used for pulp. Boards cut years ago from virgin timber were wide, up to 1 m, a thriving salvage business obtains these boards from demolition projects to be reused as flooring in upscale homes.
The long needles are popular for use in the ancient craft of coiled basket making. The stumps and taproots of old trees become will not rot. Farmers sometimes find old buried stumps in fields in some that were cleared a century ago, these are dug up and sold as fatwood, "fat lighter", or "lighter wood", in demand as kindling for fireplaces, wood stoves, barbecue pits. In old-growth pine, the heartwood of the bole is saturated in the same way; when boards are cut from the fat lighter wood, they are heavy and will not rot, but buildings constructed of them are quite flammable and make hot fires. Th