Open the Advanced Search

Scot's Pine

Pinus sylvestris

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Pinaceae (Pine)
Evergreen tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
35 metres tall
Fields, heathland, moorland, mountains, roadsides, sand dunes, scrub, seaside, towns, woodland.

Yellow, no petals
Male flowers, yellow. Female flowers, pink to purple.
Pine cones.
An evergreen tree with pine needles. The bluish-green needle-like leaves grow in pairs in clusters of two and are slightly twisted. Each needle can be anything up to 3 inches long.
Smells resinous.
Other Names:
Archangel Redwood, Baltic Redwood, Bish Apples, European Turpentine, Norway Fir, Norway Pine, Red Deal, Riga Pine, Scotch Fir, Scotch Pine, Scot's Fir, Yellow Deal.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Pinus sylvestris, commonly known as Scots Pine or Scotch Pine, is a species of evergreen coniferous tree in the Pinaceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia and North America, and can be found in a variety of habitats such as forests, scrublands and alpine tundra. The tree can grow up to 35 meters tall and has a distinctive orange-red bark, and long, needle-like leaves that grow in clusters of two. The tree is economically important for its wood, which is used for construction, paper production and other industrial purposes. It's also used for ornamental and reforestation purposes. The tree has a long history of traditional medicinal uses, such as treating respiratory issues and pain relief, but it's not recommended to use it for medicinal purposes without proper medical supervision.


Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is a species of pine tree that is native to Europe and Asia. It is also known by various other names such as Scotch pine, Riga pine, or Norway pine. Scots Pine is one of the most widely distributed conifer species in the world, and it has been extensively planted in other parts of the world, including North America, New Zealand, and Australia.

Appearance and Habitat

Scots Pine is a medium-sized coniferous tree that can grow up to 35 meters (115 feet) in height. The tree has a conical crown with a straight trunk that is covered with a scaly, reddish-brown bark. The leaves of the Scots Pine are needle-like and are arranged in pairs. The needles are bluish-green in color and are between 4 to 7 cm (1.5 to 2.5 inches) long.

Scots Pine grows in a variety of habitats, including dry heathland, moorland, and mountainous areas. It is tolerant of poor soil conditions and can grow in sandy, gravelly, or clay soils. Scots Pine is also able to withstand cold and harsh environments, making it an ideal tree for reforestation projects in northern regions.

Uses of Scots Pine

Scots Pine has been used for various purposes throughout history. In the past, the wood of the tree was used for shipbuilding, construction, and furniture-making. The resin obtained from the tree was used for making turpentine, and the needles were used for making tea.

Today, Scots Pine is still used for a variety of purposes. The wood is used for making pulp for paper production, as well as for construction and furniture-making. The tree is also popular as a Christmas tree, and it is grown commercially in many countries for this purpose.

Scots Pine is also used in traditional medicine. The needles of the tree contain vitamin C, and they have been used for treating respiratory problems such as coughs, colds, and bronchitis. The resin of the tree has antiseptic properties, and it has been used for treating wounds and skin conditions.

Conservation of Scots Pine

Although Scots Pine is a widespread species, it is still threatened in some areas. The tree is susceptible to a number of diseases, including Dothistroma needle blight, which can cause defoliation and death of the tree. The tree is also threatened by climate change, which can affect its ability to grow in certain areas.

Efforts are being made to conserve Scots Pine in its natural habitat. In some areas, the tree is being protected in national parks and other conservation areas. In addition, reforestation projects are being carried out to reintroduce the tree to areas where it has been lost due to deforestation or other factors.


Scots Pine is a versatile and important tree species that has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history. It is widely distributed and can grow in a range of habitats, making it an important species for reforestation projects. However, the tree is also threatened by disease and climate change, and conservation efforts are needed to protect this important species for future generations.

More Information about Scots Pine

Scots Pine is also a valuable tree species for the environment. The tree is able to tolerate harsh environments and can grow in areas where other trees cannot. It is a pioneer species that can colonize disturbed areas, and it is also able to regenerate naturally after wildfires. Scots Pine provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and mammals.

The tree also has important ecological functions. It helps to prevent soil erosion and can improve soil quality by increasing nutrient levels. Scots Pine also plays a role in the water cycle, by absorbing and retaining water in its roots and releasing it into the atmosphere through transpiration. This can help to regulate the water flow in rivers and streams and prevent flooding.

In addition, Scots Pine has cultural and symbolic significance in many cultures. In Scotland, the tree is an important symbol of the Highlands, and it is often used in traditional tartan patterns. In Norse mythology, the tree was believed to be the World Tree, which connected the different worlds of the universe.

Scots Pine has also been used in the production of essential oils. The needles and twigs of the tree contain aromatic compounds that can be extracted and used for various purposes. The essential oil has a fresh, woody scent and is used in perfumes, cosmetics, and aromatherapy.

In some cultures, Scots Pine has been used in traditional rituals and ceremonies. In Finland, for example, the tree is considered sacred and is often used in sauna rituals. The needles and resin of the tree are burned to create a fragrant smoke, which is believed to have purifying and healing properties.

30 Facts about Scots Pine

  1. The Scots Pine, also known as Pinus sylvestris, is a species of coniferous tree native to Europe and Asia.

  2. It is one of the most widely distributed conifer species in the world.

  3. The tree is characterized by its reddish-brown bark, which peels off in flaky plates.

  4. The Scots Pine can reach heights of up to 35 meters (115 feet) and can live for up to 700 years.

  5. It is an important commercial species, valued for its timber and pulpwood.

  6. The wood of the Scots Pine is light in color and relatively soft, but is strong and durable.

  7. The tree has been used for a wide range of purposes over the centuries, including shipbuilding, furniture making, and as a source of resin.

  8. The Scots Pine is also an important species for wildlife, providing shelter and food for many animals.

  9. The tree produces both male and female cones, with the female cones being larger and taking up to two years to mature.

  10. The cones of the Scots Pine are an important food source for birds and mammals, including red squirrels.

  11. The Scots Pine is a hardy species, able to grow in a wide range of soil types and climatic conditions.

  12. It is particularly well adapted to cold climates, and can survive temperatures as low as -40°C (-40°F).

  13. The Scots Pine is commonly found in boreal and temperate forests throughout Europe, Asia, and parts of North America.

  14. The tree is often planted for forestry purposes, particularly in areas where other tree species struggle to grow.

  15. The Scots Pine has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly for its antiseptic and expectorant properties.

  16. The tree has also been used to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and respiratory infections.

  17. The bark of the Scots Pine contains a number of active compounds, including flavonoids and terpenes.

  18. These compounds have been shown to have a range of medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.

  19. The Scots Pine is an important symbol in Scottish culture, featuring on the country's coat of arms and being referenced in numerous poems and songs.

  20. The tree is also associated with Christmas, and is often used as a Christmas tree in northern Europe.

  21. The Scots Pine is a popular species for bonsai cultivation, due to its attractive bark and needle-like foliage.

  22. The tree is also widely used in landscaping, particularly in areas where a hardy, low-maintenance tree is required.

  23. The Scots Pine is a relatively fast-growing species, with young trees able to grow up to 1 meter (3 feet) per year.

  24. The tree is able to tolerate a range of soil types, but prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soils.

  25. The Scots Pine is susceptible to a range of pests and diseases, including the pine shoot beetle and Dothistroma needle blight.

  26. The tree is able to regenerate after fire or other disturbances, due to its ability to sprout from dormant buds on the trunk and branches.

  27. The Scots Pine is an important carbon sink, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in its wood and soil.

  28. The tree has been widely studied for its potential role in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.

  29. The Scots Pine is an important species for the forestry industry in many parts of the world, providing both economic and ecological benefits.

  30. The tree is a valuable resource for both human and non-human communities, and plays an important role in the ecology and culture of many regions.


Video 1: Various species of Pine trees at Arnside (14th August 2022) and Formby (25th September 2022).


Video 2: Scot's Pine filmed at Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve in Lancashire on the 28th April 2023.


Music credits
Legends Of The River by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map