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Pitch Pine vs Jack Pine

Where their ranges overlap, these pines often occupy the same harsh, fire-prone habitats. They are easily distinguished by non-overlapping needle lengths, different numbers of needles per cluster, and cone size.

Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida)

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

A scrubby, fire-adapted pine that often grows in harsh conditions, such as dry, acidic, sandy soil.
A fire-adapted pine with a northerly distribution in North America, the densest parts of its range in Canada, northern New England, and the upper midwest.
Three needles per cluster. Longer needles, usually longer than 2 inches.
Photo © charlie, CC BY 4.0.
Two needles per cluster. Very short needles, usually less than 2 inches.
Photo © Laura Gaudette, CC BY 4.0.
Larger cones less likely to curve.
Photo © Laura Gaudette, CC BY 4.0.
Smaller cones often curve strongly.
Photo © Aaron Boers, CC BY 4.0.
Resprouts, from the base or the trunk.
Photo © Laura Gaudette, CC BY 4.0.
Does not resprout.
Photo © , .