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Jack Pine

Plant Type: Evergreen, bare-root

Zones:  2-6

Soil Type:  Clay, Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun

Mature Height & Width:  40-50' Height and 30-40' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Dry to average soils

Plant Characteristics

Jack Pine

Pinus banksiana

The Jack Pine is the utility conifer. If you are looking for an all purpose pine for hard to grow areas, choose Jack Pine. Loves sandy, poor soils and is often seen with Oaks in rather scruffy landscapes. This small to medium evergreen quickly loses the typical pyramid shape to form an open and irregular crown. The Jack Pine is fire adapted which means the cones remain closed until opened by fire. Jack pine is a pioneer tree species which regenerates after forest fires.

The Jack Pine is sometimes referred to as the Scrub Pine or Gray Pine. This conifer will grow in tough conditions including poor and rocky soils and exposed areas. If you have a tough spot where not much else has survived, you should give this tree a try.    

Common Uses:

  • Pulp species for paper production
  • Planting in tough areas and conditions
  • Windbreaks and wildlife cover plantings
  • Colder areas; hardy to -40 degrees

Jack Pine's best known wildlife association is serving as cover for the endangered Kirtland's Warbler, which breeds only in young Jack Pine stands in the upper part of Michigan's lower peninsula. The nests are placed on the ground, often at the base of a small pine tree. A young Jack Pine stand makes an excellent cover for hares. Many other birds such as spruce grouse and songbirds use Jack Pine stands for their habitat. Owls like it for day roosting and often use the tree as a perch for hunting.