Jack Pine

Jack Pine pine cone.

Jack Pine Coniferous

Pinus banksiana

Jack pine is important timber species in the Lake States of the United States and Canada. These trees produce pulpwood, lumber for construction, telephone poles, fence posts, mine timbers, and railroad ties. Jack pine is used as Christmas trees and for stabilization of watersheds.

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Where To Grow

Widespread throughout Northwestern Ontario, jack pine is usually found on sandy soils. It also grows on loamy soils or thin soils over bedrock. Jack pine seedlings require full sunlight to become established.
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Suitable to plant west of the 100th meridian.
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Size at Maturity

Tree Height Tree Spread
40' 25'
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Tree Characteristics

Jack pine is a small to medium-sized, evergreen tree. Crown small, irregularly rounded or spreading and flattened irregular. Branches descending to spreading-ascending, poorly self-pruning; twigs slender, orange-red to red-brown, aging gray-brown, rough. Cones are retained for several years, resulting in a coarse appearance. Trunk straight to crooked; bark at first dark and scaly, later develops scaly ridges. Branchlets are yellow to greenish-brown when young, then turning gray-brown with age; very resinous buds. The leaves are evergreen,  (.75 - 1.5 in) long, and two twisted, divergent needles per fascicle, yellow-green in color all surfaces, margins finely serrulate, apex acute to short-subulate. Fascicle sheath is short 0.3- 0.6 cm, semipersistent. Seeds are compressed obovoid, oblique; body 4-5 mm, brown to near black; wing 10-12 mm. 

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Wildlife Benefits

White-tailed deer browse saplings and young trees and snowshoe hares feed on young seedlings. Porcupines feed on bark that often leads to deformed trees. Red squirrels, chipmunks, mice, goldfinches, and robins consume seeds. 

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Interesting Facts

A mature stand of jack pine may have as many as 2 million seeds per acre stored in unopened cones. The serotinous cones are sealed closed with a resinous bond that requires high temperatures to open and liberate the seeds.