Common Tree Species of the Northwest Forest






Terminology | Pictorial

Pinus banksiana
Jack Pine
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

The jack pine is also called scrub pine, Banksian pine or Hudson Bay pine.


General - medium to large-sized, averaging 17 - 20 m (55 - 65 ft) high, evergreen conifer. Crown small, irregular; dead branches self-prune poorly. Cones are retained for several years, resulting in a coarse appearance. Trunk bark at first dark and scaly, later develops scaly ridges. Branchlets yellow to greenish-brown when young, turning gray-brown with age; very resinous buds.

Jack Pine Leaves - evergreen, 2 - 3.75 cm (.75 - 1.5 in) long, two twisted, divergent needles per fascicle, yellow-green in color. Fascicle sheath is present but short.

Flowers - monoecious, males cylindrical, yellow-green, in clusters at twig tips; females oval, reddish, appearing in May.

Fruit - cones are are persistent on the tree for several years. Cones are 3.75 - 5 cm (1.5 - 2 in) long, curved, light brown but graying with age.


Widespread throughout Northwestern Ontario, jack pine is usually found on sandy soils of the Spodosol and Entisol soil orders. It also grows on loamy soils, on thin soils over the granites and metamorphosed rocks of the Canadian Shield, over limestones, on peats, and on soil over permafrost. Grows in mono-specific stands or in association with black spruce; less common in mixedwoods with trembling aspen and other species.


The jack pine is used for lumber, railway ties, timbers and pulpwood. Jack pine stands help stabilize watersheds, produce areas for blueberry picking, and provide food and shelter for wild game species, including the snowshoe hare and the white-tailed deer.

More Information - Commercial Profiles for Northwestern Ontario Tree Species.

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