Tree Species of the World's Boreal Forests

Herbs, Shrubs and Other Plants

Terminology | Pictorial

Pinus sylvestris
Scotch Pine
Pinaceae (Pine Family)

A beautiful, large tree with rich blue-green foliage and a crown of spreading branches that become rounded and irregular; growing to an average height of 21 m and a diameter of 0.6 m; even much larger with age.

Scotch Pine Description

Distinguishing Features - Needles: evergreen; 4 - 7 cm long, in twos; stiff, slightly flattened; twisted and spreading; blue-green. Bark: reddish-brown, thin; becoming gray and shedding in papery or scaly plates. Cones: 3 - 6 cm long; egg-shaped; pale yellow-brown; short-stalked; opening at maturity; cone-scales thin, flattened, often with minute prickle.


The native pine of the Scottish Highlands, this is the most widely distributed pine in the world; found across Europe, Scandinavia and northern Asia; also Canada and northern United States; in various soil conditions from loams to sand.


The Scotch Pine is well adapted for forestry plantations; also commonly grown for shelterbelts, ornament, and Christmas trees.

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