Scotch Pine


Scotch Pine

Scotch Pine
(Pinus sylvestris)
General Description
A medium to large tree, typically pyramidal when young,
becoming more rounded and open with age. Orangebrown
peeling bark. Bark is relished by porcupines, which
can cause extensive damage. The largest tree in North
Dakota is 46 feet tall with a canopy spread of 34½ feet.
Leaves and Buds
Bud Arrangement – Buds are in whorls.
Bud Color – Brown and resin coated.
Bud Size – Oblong-ovate, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, and
Leaf Type and Shape – Two needles per fascicle, usually
Leaf Margins – Edges are minutely toothed.
Leaf Surface – Semi-rough.
Leaf Length – Needles 1½ to 3½ inches long, and persist for
3 years.
Leaf Width – Narrow needles.
Leaf Color – Medium green.
Flowers and Fruits
Flower Type – Monoecious, separate male and female
strobili that develop into cones.
Flower Color – Female strobili are purple; male strobili
are reddish-tan.
Fruit Type – Cone with diamond-shaped scales, 1½ to 2½
inches long, two winged seeds per cone scale.
Fruit Color – Dull gray-brown cones, brownish-gray seeds.
Growth Habit – Pyramidal when young, branches thin and
form becomes flat to round-topped with age.
Texture – Medium-coarse, summer and winter.
Crown Height – 25 to 50 feet.
Crown Width – 20 to 35 feet.
Bark Color – Flaky, peeling, orange-brown in upper twothirds
of mature tree. Thick, grayish or reddish, fissured at
the base of the tree.
Root System – Shallow rooted, but forms a tap root on dry
Environmental Requirements
Soil Texture – Prefers moist, well-drained soils, but will
tolerate drier sites.



  1. George says:

    I just received a box of Scotch Pines (150 per box) and I would like to know how far to plant them apart. I live in South Dakota, also. I would appreciate a reply on all info on planting these trees. I just gave them a little more water. Sincerely

    George M. C. Thompson

  2. thehomegarden says:

    Thanks for the comment George, if you want them to touch each other when they are fully grown, about 15 feet apart will work. Otherwise plant them further than 15 feet apart. Check out this link for some help on planting trees


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