Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) is found in northeastern North America, ranging from Nova Scotia to the Rockies, south to
Minnesota and eastward to Maine. It
grows farther north than any other
pine in North America. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that 99 percent of
the jack pine in the U.S. is in the Lake
States (Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin); in Canada, most is in Ontario.
Other common names include blackjack pine, scrub pine and pin de Banks.
Jack pine is a rather small tree,
reaching heights of 30 to 65 feet and
seldom much over 16 inches in diameter. The stem is often not very straight.
Branches are frequent. As a result, jack
pine logs are not going to yield much
clear, high grade lumber; rather knotty
(but the knots will be tight) is more
common. In fact, jack pine has very
dramatic red knots that certainly making it worthwhile to consider this wood
for knotty furniture or cabinets.
This species is thought to be the
only species that the endangered Kirk-
land’s warbler will nest in. A mature
stand of jack pine creates an acid soil
due to needle fall, which makes the
understory ideal for wild blueberries.
Native Americans used jack pine for
canoe frames. Today, rustic paneling,
cabinetry and furniture stock should
be reasonable markets. ;
Its knotty appearance worth considering for furniture.
; Want more? For more on this and other species, search the Wood Explorer collection at woodworkingnetwork.com/wood-explorer
by Gene Wengert
firstname.lastname@example.org WOOD EXPLORER
Density. Jack pine is about 38 pounds
per cubic foot at 10 percent MC. This
means that a dried piece of lumber 1
inch x 6 inch x 10 feet (actual size ¾
inch x 5-1/2 inch x 10 feet) will weigh 11
Color and Grain. Sapwood of jack
pine is nearly white, while the heartwood
is light brown to orange. The wood has a
rather coarse texture and, as mentioned,
is somewhat resinous if not dried properly. The aroma is enjoyable.
The world’s source
for in-line moisture
Drying. Drying is easy and fast, but
warp (due to compression wood and
crooked stems) must be controlled using good stacking practices and even
weights on the tops of piles.
Gluing and Machining. Gluing of
the wood is fairly easy, although the knots
themselves will be harder to glue. Resin
exudations will interfere with gluing if the
pitch is not set in drying. Machining is
Stability. Jack pine requires a 5
percent MC change for a 1 percent size
change in the width of flatsawn lumber.
Strength. The strength (MOR) of jack
pine is 9900 psi; the stiffness (MOE) is
1. 35 million psi; hardness is 570 pounds.