The Scots pine is widespread throughout most of Europe from Spain and Greece to the Polar Circle in the north, and to Siberia in the east. It is an important ornamental as well as forest tree. It attains heights of 30 to 40 metres and the crown is placed high up on the trunk. The bark is thick and furrowed on the lower part of the trunk and an attractive orange-brown on the upper part. The deep root system provides it with good anchorage, making it possible for it to grow even on steep, stone cliffs and in sandy situations. The needles grow in pairs. In May the reddish female flowers appear at the tips of the new shoots; the yellow male flowers are borne in clusters on the previous year’s shoots. The woody cone does not attain its full size until the autumn of the second year and releases the winged seeds on dry windy clays at the end of the winter.
The Scots pine thrives in almost any climate and in poorer and drier soils. That is why it may be found on sandy or shallow soils that other more demanding trees find unsuitable. The wood is light and of good quality, the heartwood pale brown — used for columns, windows, doors, sleepers, etc. In some places its resin is used by the chemical industry.
Needles: Stiff, growing in pairs, 3—7 cm long by 1.5—2 mm wide. Flowers: Female in small reddish stalked cones, 1 cm long, male yellow, ovoid. Cone: Ovoid, 3—7 cm long with mat grey apophyses. Seed: Variously coloured, 4 mm long, with sword-like wing.