What it looks like

Cones from the jack pine can vary in shape and size but are usually skinny and curved and are 2.5 to 8 centimetres long. They are yellowish, brown and stay tightly closed unless they experience high temperatures. Its light green needles grow in bundles of two, are slightly curved or twisted and are 2 to 4 centimetres long.

Where it is found

The jack pine is found across Ontario and is the most common of any pine trees in the north. It’s a smaller tree that can grow almost anywhere – in sandy or shallow soil, and even on permafrost and rock.

The jack pine is the most widely distributed tree in Canada. When it grows in rocky shallow soil, it’s gnarled and lopsided – a view made famous by Canadian painter Tom Thomson.

Planting Tips

  • Size: Up to 24 metres tall, trunk is up to 60 centimetres in diameter
  • Moisture: Can tolerate a range of moisture levels but prefres dry soil
  • Shade: Needs full sun
  • Soil: Grows in almost any soil, but prefers sandy to coarse loamy soils

The jack pine can grow almost anywhere in the north as long as it gets a lot of sun, so it’s a great tree to use for landscaping.

Did you know?

Like other pines, the jack pine thrives after forest fires. The heat opens up the pinecones to release seeds, and kills off competing plants.

Image credits

  • Tree: Daniel Tigner, Canadian Forest Tree Essences
  • Needles and male cones: Daniel Tigner, Canadian Forest Tree Essences
  • Bark: Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Cone: Daniel Tigner, Canadian Forest Tree Essences