Long-lived, coniferous tree. Reaches heights of about 100 feet. Leaves are less than an inch in length; flattened; margins slightly toothed, especially near apex; shiny green to yellow-green above, glaucous below. Bark: brown; becoming scaly and deeply fissured.
Confined to areas with cool and humid climates. Range: from Canada south to northern Alabama. Prefers partial shade; is tolerant to full shade. Its fine-textured foliage that droops to the ground, its pyramidal growth habit, and its ability to withstand hard pruning make it a desirable ornamental tree. Its tendency to shed needles rapidly after being cut down renders it unsuitable as a Christmas tree.
The wood is soft, coarse-grained, and light buff in color. The lumber is used for general construction and crates. Because of its unusual power of holding spikes, it is also used for railroad ties. As a fuel, it is low in value. Also a source of pulp for paper manufacturing.