|SCOTCH PINE CONE; SMALL AND POINTED (Google photo)...|
|...PRUNED ORIENTAL STYLE...|
|...SHORT, BLUE-GREEN NEEDLES IN BUNDLES OF TWO...|
|...OPEN GROWING WITH AGE; NOTE THE ORANGE BARK|
Saturday, 9:30 AM. 41 degrees F at the ferry dock, 39 on the back porch. Wind SSW, very gusty. The sky is clear, the humidity 82%. The barometer stands steady, at 30.3". It is a blustery morning, that seems much colder than it is.
Scotch pine, Pinus sylvestris, in the Pine Family (Pinaceae), is a slow to medium growing conifer that can reach between 30' and 60' at maturity. When young and heavily sheared it makes a good Christmas tree, but when un-sheared its natural habit is more open and often even contorted. It can make a good subject for a Japanese garden when properly pruned.
The natural range of the species is throughout much of Europe and into Asia, and its various forms and needle colors reflect this range. A typical needle color is bluish green, and branch color varies from yellow-orange to scaly black, so it has interesting color and form. Depending on its genetic source, it can be hardy in the landscape from the far north to the lower Midwest. It is relatively salt tolerant, so can be useful along roads that have winter salt spray and runoff.
Scotch pine can be an interesting element in the landscape but it does not blend well with native conifers and I would rather use the native jack pine in the upper Midwest or the scrub pines of the east and south when naturalizing conifers in the landscape, and seeking smaller or more unusual species.