Pine trees in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina; photo by Matthew Paulson on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).
The pine tree (no specific type) was designated as the official state tree of North Carolina in 1963. The state's nickname "Tar Heel State" originates from colonial production of tar, pitch, rosin and turpentine from the state's extensive pine forests. Eight types of pine tree are considered indigenous to North Carolina, including the eastern white pine, loblolly pine, longleaf pine, pitch pine, pond pine, shortleaf pine, table mountain pine, and Virginia pine.
During the colonial period and early statehood, the pine tree was a vital part of the economy of North Carolina. Pine trees continue to supply North Carolina with many important wood products (particularly in the building industry).
Nine other states have designated the pine or a species of pine as their official state tree (Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico).