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Jack Pine, A Common Tree in North America


Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) is a small-to medium-sized coniferous tree of the northern forests of the United States and Canada, where it is an important source of pulpwood, lumber, and round timber. It grows farther north than any other American pine and is the most widely distributed pine species in Canada. It is a pioneer species in succession and invades areas where mineral soil has been exposed by major disturbances such as fires. It usually grows in even-aged pure or mixed stands on less fertile and drier soils than those required by other native species in its range.

The Images of Jack Pine

Forestryimages.org provides several images of parts of jack pine. The tree is a conifer and the lineal taxonomy is Pinopsida > Pinales > Pinaceae > Pinus banksiana Lamb. Jack pine is also commonly called black pine, gray pine, Hudson Bay pine and scrub pine.

The Range of Jack Pine

Jack Pine Range
The major portion of the jack pine range is in Canada where its northern boundary extends eastward from the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories across the country to Cape Breton Island, NS. The range then extends southwest through Maine, New Hampshire, northern New York, central Quebec and northern Ontario, Michigan, extreme northwest Indiana, northeast Illinois, then northwest through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, central Alberta, to extreme northeast British Columbia.

Fire Effects on Jack Pine

Of all boreal forest conifers, jack pine is best adapted to fire. With medium thick bark, mature individuals have only a moderate tolerance of fire, but populations survive because of delayed seed release from serotinous cones, early reproductive maturity, fast growth rates in full sun, and preference for mineral soil seedbeds.

Jack Pine at Conifers.org

Remarks: "The endangered Kirtland's warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) is dependent on sizable (larger than 80 ha) stands of young (1.5-4 m tall) P. banksiana forest for breeding habitat. It became endangered due to loss of habitat as fire suppression eliminated young P. banksiana stands from the landscape, and suitable habitat is now maintained (in central Michigan) through an extensive controlled burning program. Jack pine is the territorial tree of the North West Territories."

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