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Jack Pine vs Scots Pine

These two species of pine are quite similar to each other because of their small needles and often similar growth habit. They are easily distinguished by the color of their bark and foliage, and they have several more subtle differences as well.

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana)

Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

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.
A strikingly-colored pine with relatively short, blue-green needles, often showing orange-red bark towards the top of the tree. Native to northern Europe and Siberia, and introduced to North America where it has established wild populations in numerous locations.
Bark color grayish, stays consistent at top of tree.
Photo © ENR GNWT Suzanne Carriere, CC BY 4.0.
Orange-red bark, especially towards the top of the tree, and on young twigs.
Photo © Charlie Hohn, CC BY 4.0.
Needles variably bluish, green, or yellow-green. Not as consistently or intensely bluish.
Photo © Sarah Johnson, CC BY 4.0.
Needles consistently bluish; makes bold contrast with orange twigs.
Photo © Jordi M-R, CC BY 4.0.