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


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

UK Map