Trees to 40m; trunk to 1.2m diam., straight; crown rounded to conic. Bark red-brown, scaly-plated, plates with evident resin pockets. Branches spreading-ascending; 2-year-old branchlets slender (ca. 5mm or less), greenish brown to red-brown, often glaucous, aging red-brown to gray, roughened and cracking below leafy portion. Buds ovoid to cylindric, red-brown, 0.5–0.7(–1)cm, resinous. Leaves 2(–3) per fascicle, spreading-ascending, persistent 3–5 years, (5–)7–11(–13)cm × ca. 1mm, straight, slightly twisted, gray- to yellow-green, all surfaces with fine stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex abruptly acute; sheath 0.5–1(–1.5)cm, base persistent. Pollen cones cylindric, 15–20mm, yellow- to pale purple-green. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, semipersistent, solitary or clustered, spreading, symmetric, lanceoloid or narrowly ovoid before opening, ovoid-conic when open, 4–6(–7)cm, red-brown, aging gray, nearly sessile or on stalks to 1cm, scales lacking contrasting dark border on adaxial surfaces distally; umbo central, with elongate to short, stout, sharp prickle. Seeds ellipsoid; body ca. 6mm, gray to nearly black; wing 12–16mm. 2n =24.
Habitat: Uplands, dry forests
Ala., Ark., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.
Although Pinus echinata is highly valued for timber and pulpwood, it is afflicted by root rot. It hybridizes with P. taeda, the pine most commonly associated with it.