wpe5.jpg (2127 bytes)U.P. TREE  IDENTIFICATION  KEY
from Michigan State University Extension

THE PINE GROUP OF CONIFERS
White Pine, Red Pine, Jack Pine, Scots Pine, and Austrian Pine
Family Pinaceae

RPIN-fascicle.jpg (32591 bytes)XPIN-3crowns.jpg (84191 bytes)Mostly a family of the northern hemisphere, there are 9 genera and about 210 species.  The genus Pinus is shown on this page.  Other U.P. genera are Larix (tamarack), Picea (spruces), Tsuga (hemlock), and Abies (firs).  Pines are conifers with NEEDLES attached in a BUNDLE.  The bundle or sheath that holds the needles together is called a "fascicle".  The genus Pinus all produce fruits called CONES.   There are three species of pine trees native to the U.P., white pine, red pine, and jack pine.  There have been a number of introduced pines.  Only the Scots pine has been widely naturalized.


Pine White.jpg (41441 bytes)  EASTERN WHITE PINE  (Pinus strobus)
 
Other Names:  Northern White Pine, Northern Pine, Soft Pine, Cork Pine
  Key ID Features:  Needles, Cones, Crown Shape, Bark

WPIN-estivant.jpg (110986 bytes)WPIN-leafcone.jpg (96847 bytes)WPIN-bark.jpg (142360 bytes)WPINcrowns.jpg (37278 bytes)WPIN-emergents.jpg (31640 bytes)
White pine has 5 NEEDLES per bundle, are 3-5 inches long, but often one or two needles fall out.  The CONES are 5-8 inches long, the longest in Michigan.  The BARK on young trees (under 4-5 inches) is steely gray and mostly smooth.  The bark gradually becomes deeply ridged as the tree get larger.  The tallest record tree in Michigan is a 201-foot white pine in Marquette County.  White pine can be identified from the highway by its tall SIZE and crown SHAPE.  Often times, white pine will tower above the forest canopy.  The crown has a feathery and layered appearance.  White pine is Michigan's state tree.   Common pests: white pine weevil, white pine blister rust, red heart, Tomentosus, porcupines, road salt, sawflies, pine root collar weevil, aphids & spittlebugs, Pales weevil, shoot beetles, Eur. pine shoot beetle, shoot moths, Annosum, Polypores.


Pine Red.jpg (40917 bytes)   RED PINE  (Pinus resinosa)
 
Other Names:   Norway Pine, Hard Pine, Pitch Pine, Yellow Pine
  Key ID Features:  Needles, Cones, Crown Shape, Bark

RPIN-form.jpg (54371 bytes)RPIN-dunbar.jpg (98712 bytes)RPINdaysriver.jpg (58465 bytes) RPIN-bark.jpg (77093 bytes)
RPIN-cone.jpg (31976 bytes)RPIN-stamcone1.jpg (49854 bytes)RPIN-bole.jpg (73382 bytes)RPIN-leaf.jpg (107319 bytes)
Red pine and Norway pine are common names for the same species.   There are 2 NEEDLES per bundle, 4-7 inches long.  CONES are usually oval, about 2 to 2-1/2 inches long.  The BARK is scaly, resembling a jig-saw puzzle.  The loose "pieces" are reddish, pinkish, gray, and brown.   Red pine is the most common plantation tree.  Tree HEIGHTS usually are in the 80-90 foot range, but can grow to well over a hundred feet under the right conditions.  Common pests:  pine root collar weevil, European pine shoot mothstem rusts, Coleosporium, Sphaeropsis, Sirococcus, Scleroderris, frost damage, sawflies, pine root collar weevil, aphids & spittlebugs, Pales weevil, shoot beetles, Eur. pine shoot beetle, shoot moths, red heart, Annosum, Polypores.

 


Pine Jack.jpg (41180 bytes)   JACK PINE  (Pinus banksiana)
 
Other Names:   Scrub Pine, Gray Pine, Black Pine
  Key ID Features:  Needles, Cones, Crown Shape, Bark, Habitat

JPIN-conesY.jpg (78164 bytes)JPIN-bark.jpg (75102 bytes)JPIN-habitat.jpg (85581 bytes)JPIN-leaf.jpg (104303 bytes)JPIN-burn.jpg (79089 bytes)
Jack pine has 2 NEEDLES per bundle, each about and inch or 1-1/2 inches long.  CONES are round when opened and dried, but when closed are shaped somewhat like rams' horns.  On the branch, cones point towards the end of the branch.  Jack pine tends to grow in PURE STANDS, but occasionally single specimens are found or remnants in other forest types.  Common pests:  jack pine budwormstem rusts, Scleroderris, Cronartium, sawflies, pine root collar weevil, aphids & spittlebugs, Pales weevil, shoot beetles, Eur. pine shoot beetle, shoot moths, red heart, Annosum, Polypores.


Pine Scotch.jpg (40118 bytes)   SCOTS PINE (Pinus sylvestris)
  Other Names:   Scotch Pine
  Key ID Features:  Needles, Cones, Bark

SPIN-cones.jpg (54565 bytes)SPIN-form.jpg (79517 bytes)SPIN-leafbud.jpg (58282 bytes)SPIN-stamcone2.jpg (43632 bytes)SPINbark.jpg (58730 bytes)
Scots pine is similar to jack pine.  The NEEDLES are slightly longer, up to 3 inches long, but are twisted about 180 degrees.  The CONES are similar is size and shape, but green cones do not point to the branch tips.  In the USA, Scots pine usually has poorly formed STEMS and forks, often due to insect damage.  The BARK is a fairly bright orange, except on the trunks of large diameter trees.  In northern Europe, Scots pine displays excellent form and is a commercially important tree. Common pests:  pine root collar weevil, European pine shoot mothbrownspot, Cyclaneusma, Cronartium, sawflies, pine root collar weevil, aphids & spittlebugs, Pales weevil, shoot beetles, Eur. pine shoot beetle, shoot moths, red heart, Annosum, Polypores.


OTHER PINES (Pinus spp.)

BPIN-bough.jpg (75083 bytes)BPIN-form.jpg (66841 bytes)BPIN-cones.jpg (78896 bytes)BPIN-bark.jpg (44610 bytes)

Austrian or Black Pine  (Pinus nigra)
A native of the Mediterranean region.  Used as an ornamental.  Very hardy and can survive on exceptionally poor sites.  Quite similar to red pine in appearance, but needles tend to be flexible when bent.  Red pine needles tend to snap easily. 


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This site created and maintained by Bill Cook, MSU Extension Forester for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.   Editing and modification is ongoing.  Submit suggestions, questions, and corrections to cookwi@msu.edu or call 906-786-1575. 

 

 

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