PINUS SYLVESTRIS – PINE, SCOTCH
The plant will tolerate dry soil and exposed sites forming an open, picturesque, asymmetrical canopy. It is a good tree for reclamation sites, is tough and durable, and is very popular as a Christmas tree. Needs to be sprayed with green dye to give it a desirable green color for the holiday season. It is somewhat tolerant of alkaline soil pH, but like many other pines prefers acid soils. In recent years the tree has been bothered with fatal attacks of Pine wilt nematode, therefore, its use in landscapes is not recommended in many areas. Needles are borne in pairs.
Like many pines horizontal branches break easily in ice and wind storms. Something always seems to be falling from this pine tree; needles, sap, branches, and fruit appear on nearby cars, roofs and sidewalks year round. Unless grown in the open with no other trees nearby, shaded lower branches die as the tree grows taller. Open-grown trees keep more lower branches, probably due to greater sun exposure. It is important to maintain only one leader to the top of the plant.
Dropping needles often discourage people from planting pines near streets, parking lots, or near other pavement. Roots also enjoy growing just under the surface of the asphalt and cracking it. Probably the most serious problem of Pines in areas with high pH irrigation water is pine chlorosis. The root system is often dominated by a few large diameter roots.
Like most pines, trees best recover from transplanting when moved balled and burlapped, not bare-root. They also grow fine when planted from containers provided plants are not root bound.