Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Jack Pine
Pinus banksiana

Other common names: Banksian Pine, Gray Pine, Scrub Pine

French names: Pin gris

Family: Pine Family (Pinaceae)

Group: Pines

Distinctive features: Tree; Tightly closed cones.

Similar species:
  •   Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

  •   Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo) - a shrub.

Flowers: Spring

Habitat: Fields and Open Areas;  Open areas, alvars, open forests.

Books: Trees in Canada: 58   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Common.

See Also:
  •   A Quick Guide to Pine Trees

Photographs: 170 photographs available, of which 9 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Jack Pine trees have relatively short needles. They are pointy on the ends, but not as prickly as Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) needles.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Jack Pine needles are in bunches of two, which spread apart in a "V". This is one of the main features that distinguish it from Scots Pine.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Here's a closer-up view of Jack Pine needles. If you look carefully at this photo, you can plainly see the spread-apart configuration of the needles.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Immature Jack Pine cones.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Notice how the cones grow directly from the branch, with no stem on the cone. Scots Pine cones have a short stem attaching them to the branch.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Yes, Jack Pine cones do open in fire. These cones were collected from an area that had a fire only a couple of weeks previously.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

However, as evidenced by this un-charred cone (on an un-charred tree) still on the tree in an area which had not experienced a forest fire for many many years, the cones do not require fire to open. Good hot weather will do it.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Two pictures showing the overall shape and form of the Jack Pine. They are well-suited to alvar-type places (dry and rocky, with little ground water).

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Range map for Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)