Scots pines are one of the most extensively distributed conifers in the world, found in large parts of Eurasia. They grow from sea level to a height of 2400 m, the elevation increasing from north to south of its native range.
|Scientific Name||Pinus sylvestris|
|Other Names||Riga Pine, Mongolian pine, Scotch pine|
|Size||Height: 35 m
Trunk Diameter: 1m
Tallest recorded specimen measures 46.6 m
Leaves (Needles): Glaucous blue-green on mature trees, dark green to dark yellow-green in winter, 2.5–5 cm long and 1-2 mm broad, occur in bundles with a gray basal sheath
Seed Cones: Red during pollination, turning gray-green to yellow-brown at maturity, 3-7.5 cm long
Pollen Cones: Yellow, sometimes pink, 8–12 mm long; pollens are released during middle-late spring
Bark: Thick, scaly, dark gray-brown on the lower trunk while on the upper trunk it is thin, flaky and orange
|Shape at Maturity||Oval, pyramidal|
|Distribution/Range||Western and Northern Europe, eastern Siberia, Anatolia|
|Growth Rate||Slow to medium, yearly increase being 12 to 24 in|
|Lifespan||Generally 150 to 300 years; oldest recorded specimen is more than 760 years|
|Growing Conditions||Soil Requirement: Acidic, loamy, sandy, moist, well-drained and dry soils
Light Requirement: Direct sunlight
Temperature: Tolerates high temperatures
Water Requirement: Tolerant to drought
|Diseases||Host to pine wilt caused by the pinewood nematode, vulnerable to fungal diseases like Lophodermium and Diplodia Tip Blight|
|Dispersal of Seeds||Seeds are mainly dispersed by wind|
|Seedling Development||Adequate moisture and some shade helps in seedlings establishment; seedlings grow very fast in their early years|
|Wildlife value||Insects and lichens thrive in and around the cracks of the trunk; branches are good nesting sites for birds like golden eagle, goshawk, osprey; cones and seeds are a favorite for red squirrels|
|Uses||Good source of timber, construction lumber, pulpwood; extensively used as Christmas trees; popular as a bonsai|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- Scots pine is Scotland’s national tree.
- The species was one of the first trees to colonize Ireland after the melting of ice sheets of the last glaciations around 12000 years ago. The tree, in spite of being initially abundant, disappeared from the country until the 17th century when it was reintroduced from Scotland through planting.
Published on November 16th 2016 by Sajal Datta under Pine.
Article was last reviewed on 5th December 2022.
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