Pinus Sylvestris- Facts and Info on Pinus Sylvestris Varieties

Pinus sylvestris, Scots Pine (Scotch Pine) is a very popular pine tree grown for Christmas trees and for controlling soil erosion.Find facts and information on Pinus sylvestris varieties, pests and diseases, and growing conditions.

"Pinus sylvestris Watereri"

Pinus Sylvestris 'Watereri"

Pinus sylvestris Description

Pinus sylvestris is an evergreen conifer that reaches heights of 30’-90’ and 20’-35’ wide. It will grow in Zones 2-7 and is known for its broad, irregular, pyramidal form and blue-green needles that are bunched in 2s. Pinus belongs to the Pine family known as Pinaceae.

Scots pine are fast growing trees that looks like a Christmas tree when young. With age, it develops a rounded top and longer bole as branches shade out lower ones. Many trees may develop twisted trunks and copious branches with weak branch connections to the trunk.

Growing Scots Pines

Pinus sylvestris species require full sun and well-drained soil. It will grow well onsandy or even gravelly soil and hillsides. It tolerates drought and infertile soils, but the stress of growing in very poor locations makes this tree subject to pests and diseases.

Pests and Diseases

Pests and Diseases include moths, weevils, sawflies, spittlebugs, canker and rust. Pine wilt disease is also found in this species of pine. Nematodes cause this fatal disease, which beetles spread to the needles. Once weakened, blue-stain fungus infects the tree, leading to its death. The USDA Forest Service suggests these steps to manage the disease, which has no cure.

  • Don’t plant exotic (non-native) pines where the mean summer temperature is warmer than 68 degrees F.
  • Keep susceptible landscape pines well watered, especially during dry spells.
  • If you see signs of this disease on your property get rid of infested pines to curb the damage and protect other vulnerable trees.

Bonsai Tree Specimens

Pinus sylvestris varieties also make excellent bonsai specimens. You will find many types of pines readily used for bonsai because of the growth habits of their branches and great foliage.

Best Pinus sylvestris Varieties

Pinus sylvestris ‘Watereri’ (Walter Pine)

Hardy in Zones 4-9, has a slow growth rate and reaches 10-12’ h x 8-10’ w. It has blue-gray foliage and an upright growth habit when young, but becomes broader and more conical with age. It has narrow needles and with branch tips directed upward.

"Pinus sylvestris fastigiata"

Pinus sylvestris fastigiata

Pinus sylvestris ‘Fastigiata’ (Fastigate Scots (Scotch) Pine

Hardy in Zones 2-7, with a moderate growth rate. It reaches a mature size of 20-30’ x 6-10’ wide. When used in landscapes it is 10-16’ high and 2 1/2’-4’ spread. Fastigiata has a narrow, upright growth habit and low growing branches with an upright growth.

"Pinus Sylvestris"


Pinus sylvestris ‘Aurea’

Aurea  has chartreuse foliage in summer but bright, stunning gold in winter. It has a broad, upright habit. They grow more slower than the species and reaches 30’h x 15-20’ w.


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