Scots Pine - Pinus sylvestris


    Large tree to 40 metres, bark reddish brown, flaking. Needles in pairs, greyish green and twisted 3 to 7 cm. Shoots yellowish green, becoming browner with sticky buds. Cones pendent, dull yellowish brown, egg shaped 3 to 6 cm.

    Similar Species

    Pinus nigra and subspecies; several ornamental species of Pine are planted in parks and gardens; Lodgepole Pine (P contorta) sometimes in forestry plantations

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Leaves in pairs, mostly <10cm, glaucous and twisted; trunk orange-red above when mature

    Recording advice

    Photo of shoot and needles; photo of whole tree 


    Forests and woodlands but also occasionally hedgerows and roadsides.

    When to see it

    May to June.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Common and native to the central and western Scottish Highlands, but semi-naturalised elsewhere in Britain especially the heaths in the south of England.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland probably includes planted stock. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 215 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map