Pinus banksiana Lamb.

Jack pine

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Jack pine is a cold-tolerant species primarily of northern New England, usually found growing on poor soils. Cones of northern populations are serotinous, opening only in the extreme heat of a wildfire. The seedlings thrive best on disturbed soils. The straggly trees have short, tough needles. The wood is primarily used for pulp and occasionally for making pallets and other objects. Jack pine can create cover for blueberry barrens, and the twigs provide food for snowshoe hares and other wildlife.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), bogs

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Growth form
the plant is a tree
Leaf form
the leaves are needle-like
Leaf cross-section
the needle-like leaves are rounded, or flattened on one side (can be rolled between the fingers)
Leaf arrangement
the needle-like leaves are in clusters or held on short shoots
Seed cone form
the seed cone is longer than wide, with woody scales attached at the base
Leaf clustering
the needle-like leaves are in bundles or clusters of two
Seed cone shape
  • the seed cone is lanceoloid (lance-shaped, thickest below the middle and tapering toward the ends)
  • the seed cone is ovoid (egg-shaped)
Leaves overlapping
the needle-like leaves are separate and do not hide the twig surface
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Winter bud shape
    the winter buds are ovoid (egg-shaped)
  • Fruits or seeds
    Seed cone base
    the base of the seed cone does not look hollow
    Seed cone bracts
    the bracts are covered by the seed cone scales
    Seed cone form
    the seed cone is longer than wide, with woody scales attached at the base
    Seed cone scales
    the visible portion of the scale of the closed seed cone is thickened at its base
    Seed cone shape
    • the seed cone is lanceoloid (lance-shaped, thickest below the middle and tapering toward the ends)
    • the seed cone is ovoid (egg-shaped)
    Seed cone symmetry
    the seed cone is not symmetrical
    Seed cone umbo position
    the raised portion is at the tip of the seed cone scale
    Seed wings
    the seeds have wing-like projections
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is a tree
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    the needle-like leaves are in clusters or held on short shoots
    Leaf base
    NA
    Leaf clustering
    the needle-like leaves are in bundles or clusters of two
    Leaf cross-section
    the needle-like leaves are rounded, or flattened on one side (can be rolled between the fingers)
    Leaf duration
    the needle-like leaves remain green all winter
    Leaf form
    the leaves are needle-like
    Leaf glands
    there are no glands on the underside of the needle-like leaves
    Leaf stalks
    the needle-like leaves do not have a leaf stalk
    Leaf types
    there are two distinct types of needle-like leaves on the twig
    Leaves overlapping
    the needle-like leaves are separate and do not hide the twig surface
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • bogs
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Bark resin blisters
    there are no resin blisters on the bark
    Branchlet thickness
    1–5 mm
    Leaves on shoots
    there are needle-like leaves growing in tight clusters on a short, knob-like shoot
    Twig bloom
    there is no bloom on the twig
    Twig hair type
    the twigs have few or no hairs on them
    Twig hairs
    the twig does not have hairs

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Maine
fairly widespread (S-rank: S4)
Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
New Hampshire
rare (S-rank: S2), threatened (code: T)
Vermont
historical (S-rank: SH), threatened (code: T)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Pinus resinosa:
needle-like leaves mostly 9-16 cm long, not or only slightly twisted and seed cones relativley symmetrical (vs. P. banksiana, with needle like leaves mostly 2-7 cm long, twisted, and seed cones asymmetrical, curved and/or more developed on one side).

Synonyms

  • Pinus divaricata (Ait.) Dum.-Cours.

Family

Pinaceae

Genus

Pinus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Pinus banksiana Lamb. n

Jack pine. Pinus divaricata (Ait.) Dum.-Cours. • MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Nutrient-poor, sandy 
and/or rocky soils, occasionally in peatlands. This plant is introduced to MA and RI and 
is native (at least in part) to the other states in New England that it occurs in.