The mighty Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), also sometimes called the scots pine, is a rugged evergreen tree native to Europe. It grows across a large portion of North America, where it’s popular in site reclamation. It has an attractive and distinctive look, but it’s not always a good choice for the home landscape in some areas. Keep reading for more Scotch pine information, including tips for caring for a Scotch pine. Because they’re so tough, Scotch pines are popular in spots that can’t support a lot of other life, and they’re especially good at reclaiming undesirable areas. Planting Scotch pines isn’t ideal everywhere, however, because the trees are very susceptible to pine wilt nematodes. It’s especially a problem in the Midwest, where trees will often grow normally for 10 years, then become infected and die quickly. If you live outside the Midwest, it’s not likely to be a problem.
Plant it in a location where it gets at least 6 hours of full sun each day, and make sure to give it plenty of space, as this is a tree that will get very large. No longer recommended to purchase or even plant a scotch pine, due to the nature of the evergreen and insect and diseases that affect it.
Water only during warm temperatures, and only if the tree has not received adequate rainfall moisture.
Feeding is not mandatory, but if you do feed, do it once each year in the spring just before dormancy breaks, using a 15-5-10 slow-release fertilizer. Spread the fertilizer in a band just under the outer perimeter of the pine’s canopy, raking it into the top layer of the soil. Water the tree thoroughly immediately after feeding. Mulch the area around the base of the tree to a depth of 3 to 4 inches and reapply mulch every 1 to 2 years. Once established, this tree requires little care.
Pruning is usually not necessary unless you want to maintain the classic Christmas tree shape. To promote thicker growth, pinch off the new growth shoots (“candles”) in the spring as they appear. Remove dead branches, and if rubbing branches are evident, prune one of the branches away.
|Mature Height:||30-40 ft|
|Mature Width:||20-30 ft|
|Sunlight:||Full to Partial Sun|
|Grows Well in Zones:||3-8|
|Your Growing Zone:||6|