Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) is a small, sometimes shrubby tree native to Canada and northern parts of the U.S. Illinois is at the far southern end of its range, so while it is relatively common in the northeastern U.S. and Canada, it is now very rare in Illinois.
Jack pine cones need fire to open and disperse the seeds. Because forest fires have been suppressed across much of its southern range, it has a hard time reproducing here. Jack pines will continue to disappear from Illinois and other U.S. states as our climate warms and the populations move farther north to more suitable habitat and colder conditions.
In Michigan, an endangered bird called Kirtland's warbler lives only in jack pine forests. If jack pines continue to decline, so will this endangered bird.
What can you do? Plant jack pine in your yard to support local wildlife