Pinus sylvestris

Family: Pinaceae

Countries: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, England, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Siberia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Wales, Yugoslavia

In the UK, Pinus sylvestris is often known as the Scot’s Pine.  However, Pinus sylvestris trees’ native range is extensive, this tree’s majestic kingdom stretches across Northern Europe and further afield, so goodness only knows how many common names this handsome tree has attracted – thank goodness for botanical names, which remain the same – wherever in the world you are.

Pinus sylvestris is an evergreen conifer that planted well and given sufficient time will eventually grow up to around 30m (98ft) tall; forming a tree that encompasses an area of up to 6m (19.5ft) wide.  I think of Pinus sylvestris as a very atmospheric plant.  I used to have a number of Pinus sylvestris trees in one of my old gardens; these specimens added a real character to my garden and I found that they were very beneficial for wildlife and popular with birds.  Pinus sylvestris tends to develop tall straight trunks, which are still used today to make telegraph poles.

If you’re thinking of planting this tree I can tell you that Pinus sylvestris should grow happily in any moist but well-drained soil, including acid, neutral, and alkaline soils.  Plant Pinus sylvestis in a bright and sunny spot.  This is a robust and hardy tree, but when choosing where to plant your tree, avoid sites with wet or waterlogged soils.

After their flowers are pollinated, Pinus sylvestris pine cones begin to develop; this isn’t a fast process – trees hold pine cones from at least one and often two previous year’s growth.  Immature pine cones are a delightfully fresh green colour; at this stage, the pine cones are small and compressed, as they mature the cones turn an ashen shade of brown and when they have finally ripened the pine cones open and their papery seeds are released.  If you’d like a Pinus sylvestris tree, why not scatter seed in your garden?  Or just drop a couple of Pinus sylvestris pine cones on the ground.

Pinus sylvestris is a low maintenance tree that shouldn’t need any pruning or training.

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