Pinus virginiana A small to medium sized tree that reaches 40-70 feet in height and 12-18 inches in diameter. Virginia pine grows naturally in the upper piedmont and lower elevations of the Appalachian Mountains. Though it occurs on a wide variety of sites, from heavy clays to dry rocky soils, its best development occurs on well-drained loams. It grows poorly on sandy soils. Virginia pine has a shallow root system and is susceptible to wind throw and damage from ice and snow. The species is valued as a source of pulp and its seeds are eaten by birds, squirrels, and other wildlife. Its growth is inferior to the other southern pines and it should not be planted commercially below the upper piedmont. The branches of virginia pine commonly extend to the ground making it valuable as a Christmas tree, and, at close spacing, it makes an excellent hedge or screen.