|Pinus banksiana or Jack Pine is a large tree, which can reach 70 feet tall, more usually 35 to 50 feet. It is pyramidal and unevenly spreading. The needles are paired, olive-green, 3/4 to 2 inches long. Bark is dark brown and furrowed in mature trees. The female cones are 1 to 2 inches long and yellowish brown. Does not tolerate limestone soil but tolerates dry, sandy, acid soils combined with cold temperatures. Good windbreak in poor soils, not highly ornamental. Native from the Arctic Circle south to New York and Minnesota.
Pines are one of the most diverse groups of evergreen conifers, over 90 species are distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Although most are large trees, they can take a low-growing shrub form. Pines have been very important commercially, in timber production, as well as a variety of other manufactured products such as turpentine and rosin. They tend to be more tolerant of varying soil types and urban environments than either Picea or Abies. Pines tend to develop tap roots, so one should not attempt to transplant them from the wild. All species are grown from seed with highly variable seed stratification requirements. They can be subject to many diseases, such as damping off, root rot, dieback, blister rust, canker, blight, scale, pine needle miner, pine weevil, bark beetles and pinewood nematode. Well situated plants should be relatively trouble free.
They suffer salt damage along highways and can get tip burn in areas of high sulfur dioxide or ozone.