Jack pine

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Jack pine
Pinus banksiana.jpg
A young jack pine
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: P. subg. Pinus
Section: P. sect. Trifoliae
Subsection: P. subsect. Contortae
P. banksiana
Binomial name
Pinus banksiana
Pinus banksiana range map.png
Native range
Synonyms [1] [2] [3]
  • Pinus divaricata(Aiton) Dum.Cours.
  • Pinus divaricata(Aiton) Sudw. nom. illeg.
  • Pinus hudsonicaPoir.
  • Pinus rupestrisMichx.f.
  • Pinus sylvestris var. divaricataAiton

Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) is an eastern North American pine. Its native range in Canada is east of the Rocky Mountains from the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, and the north-central and northeast of the United States from Minnesota to Maine, with the southernmost part of the range just into northwest Indiana and northwest Pennsylvania. It is also known as grey pine [4] and scrub pine. [4] [5]

North America Continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Pine Genus of plants

A pine is any conifer in the genus Pinus of the family Pinaceae. Pinus is the sole genus in the subfamily Pinoideae. The Plant List compiled by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden accepts 126 species names of pines as current, together with 35 unresolved species and many more synonyms.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.


In the far west of its range, Pinus banksiana hybridizes readily with the closely related lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). The species epithet banksiana is after the English botanist Sir Joseph Banks. [6]

Joseph Banks English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences

Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, was an English naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences.


Foliage Jackpine.jpg
Closed, mature cones Pinus banksiana closed cones.jpg
Closed, mature cones
Pollen cones Cones2.jpg
Pollen cones
Bark Pinus banksiana bark.jpg

Pinus banksiana ranges from 9–22 m (30–72 ft) in height. Some jack pines are shrub-sized, due to poor growing conditions. They do not usually grow perfectly straight, resulting in an irregular shape similar to pitch pine (Pinus rigida). This pine often forms pure stands on sandy or rocky soil. It is fire-adapted to stand-replacing fires, with the cones remaining closed for many years, until a forest fire kills the mature trees and opens the cones, reseeding the burnt ground.

The leaves are in fascicles of two, needle-like, twisted, slightly yellowish-green, and 2–4 cm (341 12 in) long.

Jack pine cones are usually 5 cm (2 in) and curved at the tip. [7] The cones are 3–5 cm (1 14–2 in) long, the scales with a small, fragile prickle that usually wears off before maturity, leaving the cones smooth.

Conifer cone Reproductive organ on conifers

A cone is an organ on plants in the division Pinophyta (conifers) that contains the reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity. The name "cone" derives from the fact that the shape in some species resembles a geometric cone. The individual plates of a cone are known as scales.

Unusually for a pine, the cones normally point forward along the branch, sometimes curling around it. That is an easy way to tell it apart from the similar lodgepole pine in more western areas of North America. The cones on mature trees are serotinous. They open when exposed to intense heat, greater than or equal to 50 °C (122 °F). The typical case is in a fire, however cones on the lower branches can open when temperatures reach 27 °C (81 °F) due to the heat being reflected off the ground. Additionally, when temperatures reach −46 °C (−51 °F), the cones will open, due to the nature of the resin.[ citation needed ]


P. banksiana forest with Vaccinium groundcover Pinus banksiana forest.jpg
P. banksiana forest with Vaccinium groundcover

Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii), an endangered bird, depends on pure stands of young jack pine in a very limited area in the north of the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan for breeding. Mature jack pine forests are usually open and blueberries are often abundant in the understory.

Young jack pines are an alternate host for sweet fern blister rust (Cronartium comptoniae). Infected sweet ferns (Comptonia peregrina) release powdery orange spores in the summer and nearby trees become infected in the fall. Diseased trees show vertical orange cankers on the trunk and galls on the lower branches. The disease does not tend to affect older trees. [8]

Jack pines are also susceptible to scleroderris canker (Gremmeniella abietina). This disease manifests by yellowing at the base of the needles. Prolonged exposure may lead to eventual death of the tree. [8]

Insects that attack jack pine stands include the white pine weevil (Pissodes strobi), jack pine sawfly, and jack pine budworm. [8]

Commercial uses

Like other species of pine, Pinus banksiana has use as timber, although its wood tends to be knotty and not highly resistant to decay. Products include pulpwood, fuel, decking, and utility poles. [6]

Related Research Articles

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<i>Pinus albicaulis</i> species of plant

Pinus albicaulis, known by the common names whitebark pine, white pine, pitch pine, scrub pine, and creeping pine, is a conifer tree native to the mountains of the western United States and Canada, specifically subalpine areas of the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Range, Pacific Coast Ranges, and Rocky Mountains from Wyoming northwards. It shares the common name "creeping pine" with several other plants.

<i>Picea mariana</i> species of plant

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<i>Pinus lambertiana</i> species of plant

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<i>Pinus peuce</i> species of plant

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<i>Pinus flexilis</i> species of plant

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<i>Pinus contorta</i> species of plant, Lodgepole pine

Pinus contorta, with the common names lodgepole pine and shore pine, and also known as twisted pine, and contorta pine, is a common tree in western North America. It is common near the ocean shore and in dry montane forests to the subalpine, but is rare in lowland rain forests. Like all pines, it is an evergreen conifer.

<i>Pinus serotina</i> species of plant

Pinus serotina, the pond pine, marsh pine or pocosin pine, is a pine tree found along the Southeastern portion of the Atlantic coastal plain of the United States, from southern New Jersey south to Florida and west to southern Alabama. This pine often has a crooked growth pattern and an irregular top and grows up to 21 metres (69 ft) high, rarely to 29 metres (95 ft).

<i>Pinus elliottii</i> species of plant

Pinus elliottii, commonly known as slash pine, is a conifer tree in the Southeastern United States. Slash pine is named after the "slashes" – swampy ground overgrown with trees and bushes – that constitute its habitat. Other common names include swamp pine, yellow slash pine, and southern Florida pine. Historically, slash pine has been an important economic timber for naval stores, turpentine, and resin. Slash pine has two different varieties: Pinus elliottii var. elliottii and Pinus elliottii var. densa.

<i>Pinus virginiana</i> species of plant

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Bishop pine species of plant, Bishop Pine

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<i>Pinus longaeva</i> species of plant

Pinus longaeva is a long-living species of bristlecone pine tree found in the higher mountains of California, Nevada, and Utah. Methuselah is a bristlecone pine that is 4,851 years old and the oldest known living non-clonal organism on Earth. In 1987, the bristlecone pine was designated one of Nevada's state trees.

<i>Larix laricina</i> species of plant

Larix laricina, commonly known as the tamarack, hackmatack, eastern larch, black larch, red larch, or American larch, is a species of larch native to Canada, from eastern Yukon and Inuvik, Northwest Territories east to Newfoundland, and also south into the upper northeastern United States from Minnesota to Cranesville Swamp, West Virginia; there is also an isolated population in central Alaska. The word tamarack is an Algonquian name for the species and means "wood used for snowshoes".

<i>Abies concolor</i> species of fir tree, native to mountains of western North America

Abies concolor, the white fir, is a coniferous tree in the pine family Pinaceae. This tree is native to the mountains of western North America from the southern Cascade range in Oregon, south throughout California and into the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir in northern Baja California; west through parts of southern Idaho, to Wyoming; and south throughout the Colorado Plateau and southern Rocky Mountains in Utah and Colorado, and into the isolated mountain ranges of southern Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico. White fir live over 300-years and naturally occur at an elevation between 900–3,400 m (2,950–11,200 ft).

<i>Pinus aristata</i> species of plant

Pinus aristata, the Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, is a long-living species of bristlecone pine tree native to the United States. It appears in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and northern New Mexico, with isolated populations in the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona and the Kaibab National Forest north of the Grand Canyon. It is usually found at very high altitudes, from 7,000–13,000 feet (2,100–4,000 m), in cold, dry subalpine climate conditions, often at the tree line, although it also forms extensive closed-canopy stands at somewhat lower elevations.

Closed-cone pine forest

Closed-cone pine forest is a plant community of coastal California and several offshore islands. The plant community is often mono-dominant and single-aged, but dense with ladder fuels. Closed Cone forests grow in low nutrient and/or stressed soils, which can lead to slow growth. It consists of stands of coniferous species which rely on fire or shoot death to open their cones and release the seeds. Examples of species include coulter pine, monterey pine, and bishop pine.

The plant pathogenic fungus Leucostoma kunzei is the causal agent of Leucostoma canker a disease of spruce trees found in the Northern Hemisphere, predominantly on Norway spruce and Colorado blue spruce. This disease is one of the most common and detrimental stem diseases of Picea species in the northeastern United States, yet it also affects other coniferous species. Rarely does it kill its host tree; however, the disease does disfigure by killing host branches and causing resin exudation from perennial lesions on branches or trunks.

Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine forest

The Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine forest is a forest plant community at an elevation of 2,100–2,700 metres (6,900–8,900 ft) in the Rocky Mountains, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It is an important temperate coniferous forest ecoregion, including some endemic wildlife and grass species that are only found in this ponderosa pine habitat.

Pine-pine gall rust species of fungus

Pine-pine gall rust, also known as western gall rust, is a fungal disease of pine trees. This plant disease is caused by Endocronartium harknessii, an autoecious, endocyclic, rust fungus that grows in the vascular cambium of the host. Pine-pine gall rust is found on pine trees with two or three needles such as ponderosa pine, jack pine, and scots pine. The disease is very similar to pine-oak gall rust, but its second host is another Pinus species. The fungal infection results in gall formation on branches or trunks of infected hosts. Gall formation is typically not detrimental to old trees but has been known to kill younger less stable saplings. Galls can vary from small growths on branch extremities to grapefruit sized galls on trunks.


  1. "Pinus banksiana Lamb.". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew via The Plant List.
  2. "Pinus divaricata". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  3. "Pinus divaricata". International Plant Names Index (IPNI). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  4. 1 2 New Brunswick House of Assembly (1847). Reports Relating to the Project of Constructing a Railway and a Line of Electro-magnetic Telegraph Through the Province of New Brunswick from Halifax to Quebec. J. Simpson.
  5. Burns, R.M. (1990). "Pinus banksiana". In Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H. (eds.). Conifers. Silvics of North America. Washington, D.C.: United States Forest Service (USFS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 1 via Southern Research Station (www.srs.fs.fed.us).
  6. 1 2 "Pinus banksiana Lamb" (PDF). Center for Wood Anatomy Research, Forest Products Library, United States Forest Service . Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  7. Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 68. ISBN   1-4027-3875-7.
  8. 1 2 3 Blouin, Glen. An Eclectic Guide to Trees: east of the rockies. 2001. Boston Mills Press, Erin, Ontario. pp 152-159.