Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Jack Pine is a scrubby pine that can be found on poor, dry, sandy, barren plains. It is a somewhat pyramidal shaped scraggly tree that grows to be open and irregular with age. Does not tolerate shade. Short, stiff, olive green needs develop in bundles of two. Cones appear on 3-5 year old trees and can ripen in 2 years or stay closed for as much as 10 years. Closed cones are serotinous (sealed by resin) and require forest fires to open or, in some cases, hot, dry weather. Jack Pine tolerates poor soils and deer and are great to use in windbreaks. Native Americans used the wood to build frames for canoes. Jack Pine is an important limber species and is used to stabilize watersheds. The endangered Kirtland’s warbler bird uses this tree for habitat and breeding purposes.

NATIVE RANGE

Map courtesy of the USDA-NRCS Plant Database.

Photos courtesy of the American Conifer Society

Additional information

Scientific Name

Pinus banksiana

Height

35-50'

Spread

20-30'

Foilage

Olive Green

Native to

Northeast US

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