Content Detail

Jack pine is very hardy and well suited to northern climates. It can be used in windbreaks, although it is susceptible to ice storm damage and may be difficult to find in nurseries.

This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.

  • Family (English) Pine
  • Family (botanic) Pinaceae
  • Planting site Residential and parks
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet), Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 35-50 feet
  • Mature width 10-20 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Road salt
  • Season of interest early fall, early spring, early summer, early winter, late fall, late spring, late summer, late winter, mid fall, mid spring, midsummer, midwinter
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Open, Pyramidal
  • Growth rate Slow
  • Transplants well No
  • Planting considerations Highly susceptible to ice damage, May be difficult to find in nurseries
  • Wildlife Browsers, Moths, Small mammals, Songbirds
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Jack pine is native to Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota and northward into Canada.

Bark color and texture: 

The bark is thin and flaky when young, maturing into thick plates with age.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Evergreen needles are arranged in bundles of 2. They are short (3/4 to 2inches long) and slightly twisted.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

The flowers are monoecious,  with separate male and female flowers. They are not ornamentally important.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

The woody cones are 1 to 3 inches long and remain closed.

Plant care: 

Jack pine transplants easily, due to a fairly shallow root system. Avoid planting in wet soils.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Not as susceptible to pests as other pines, but sawflies, tussock moth and needle casts are potential problems. Windthrow can be a problem due to the shallow root system of this tree.


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