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Scotch Pine

Plant Type: Evergreen, bare-root

Zones:  3-7

Soil Type:  Clay, Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun

Mature Height & Width:  40-60' Height and 30-40' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Dry to average soils

Plant Characteristics

Scotch Pine

Pinus sylvestris

The Scotch Pine is a medium to large conifer which tolerates poor soil conditions quite nicely. When this pine is young, its shape is usually pyramidal. As it grows old, it takes on a more rounded, open and irregular shape. The peeling bark is a beautiful orange and brown color which adds winter interest. The East Anglia has 3" needles, while Scots Highland has 2" needles, a fine Christmas tree. Both varieties of this conifer produce a pine cone which is 1-3" in length. This drought tolerant pine, grows just about anywhere and is great for sandy soils.

As it matures, the Scotch Pine acquires a unique and stately appearance. The branches form a twisted look, as if they were windswept. The attractive bark is nicely colored and has a peeling effect. The wood from the Scotch Pine is used to make furniture due to its color. This pine tree has great wildlife value.

Fun Facts: In the past, the Scotch Pine was used to make ships, ship masts and water wheels. The resin from the bark was used to make tar and turpentine.

Common Uses:

  • Windbreaks for farmsteads or fields
  • Ornamental - attractive form and bark
  • Winter interest - colorful bark
  • Evergreen
  • Christmas Tree
  • Timber for its color
  • Great wildlife value

The Scotch Pine is a great choice for wildlife. Woodpeckers, siskins and crossbills enjoy this tree as a food source. The level branches make good nesting places for birds of prey such as the eagle, osprey and hawk. Red Squirrels are particularly fond of the cones and seeds of the Scotch Pine.