Pinus sylvestris L.
Coefficient of Conservatism: *
Coefficient of Wetness: 3
Wetness Index: FACU
Physiognomy: Ad Tree

Pinus sylvestris A. A. Reznicek

Extensively, though unwisely, used for plantations in the past, the Eurasian Pinus sylvestris is increasingly spreading into successional habitats, especially on sandy soils. First collected by Emma Cole in Kent Co. in 1893, and then again by W. Earle Mulliken in 1897, perhaps as an escape, though not noted in Emma Cole's "Grand Rapids Flora" (1901). A collection by Dodge in 1916 from a "sandy beach" on Grand Island, Alger Co., is not mapped, being presumably planted; Dodge (1921) noted "Occasionally planted. Noticed in particular on the sandy beach of Grand Island in Alger County where it appears to be thriving." It was not collected again as an escape until C. D. Richards gathered it in Houghton Co. in 1949. 

Pinus sylvestris and P. banksiana are similar, especially in the herbarium, and young plants without female cones or mature bark can be difficult to distinguish. The needles of jack pine are ± abruptly obtuse to acute, but blunt at the apex. In P. sylvestris the needles average a bit longer than in P. banksiana and they often tend to taper to sharp tips as well as being more silvery in aspect. In more mature trees, the curved female cones of P. banksiana tend to point forward toward the ends of their branches and are long-persistent, while the more readily deciduous female cones of P. sylvestris are horizontal or reflexed, pointing toward the base of their branches. The bark of P. sylvestris is a distinctive orange-brown, noticeable especially on the upper part of the trunk. 

A specimen from Oakland Co. has less silvery leaves than expected in Pinus sylvestris, and the leaf tips are quite blunt. It may be P. mugo Turra, a commonly planted species known to escape in nearby Ontario, but the specimen lacks cones.  


Allegan County
Antrim County
Barry County
Berrien County
Cass County
Crawford County
Genesee County
Houghton County
Ingham County
Kalamazoo County
Kent County
Lake County
Leelanau County
Lenawee County
Mason County
Newaygo County
Oakland County
Ottawa County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. December 3, 2022.