Ongoing research has provided detailed information about prescribed fire and the conditions necessary for rapid regrowth of scorched foliage in seedling and sapling stands of longleaf pine. Two physiological mechanisms that regrow scorched foliage are seasonally available starch reserves and net photosynthesis in unscorched foliage. Conservation of some foliage on longleaf pine trees during prescribed fire promotes regrowth of scorched foliage, as USDA Forest Service researchers at the agency's Southern Research Station and cooperators have found. Between March and May, both starch reserves and net photosynthesis support post-scorch foliage regrowth. Beyond May, the regrowth of scorched foliage depends on net photosynthesis. When foliage conservation is unlikely due to seedling or sapling stature, prescribed fire should be applied between March and May. This information can guide fire application as early as the second growing season after planting. Controlling woody competitors during the period is critical to longleaf pine success. Restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem depends largely on private landowners. The scientists have shared these findings at technical and nontechnical forums. Additionally, the relationship between foliage and plant growth is universal. Thus, the principles of this research are applicable to all fire-adapted forest systems.