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Lawn & Garden

Scotch pine, Pinus sylvestris

Common Name: scots pine, scotch pine

Type: tree

Family: Pinaceae

Zone: 2 to 7

Height: 30 to 60 feet

Width: 30 to 40 feet

Sun exposure: full sun

Soil: acidic, fertile, infertile, well drained

Leaves: evergreen


This tree is probably the toughest tree out there. This tree is a native of Scotland, grows in Siberia and above the Arctic Circle where temperatures have reached -64 degrees below zero. It can grow in altitudes from sea level to 8,000 feet. It grow on rocks, in sand and gravel. It can handle climates with practically no rain and areas with as much as 70 inches of rain per year. Scotch pine grows in regions where the soil stays frozen permanently.


The scotch pine is used for pulpwood and erosion control in the northern United States but its primary use is for Christmas trees. Shade is just about the only thing this tree cannot tolerate.




STEP 1: Digging the hole

  • Find a location that has suitable sun exposure for your particular type of plant.
  • Dig your hole an inch or two shallower than the rootball of the plant.
  • Dig the hole twice the diameter of the rootball.
  • Scuff up the sides of the hole with a shovel to help roots break through the native soil.

STEP 2: Putting plant in hole

  • When removing the plant from the pot, check to see if the roots were circling the pot.
  • If the plant is rootbound, gently break up the roots with your hands until loosened up.
  • Set plant level, in the center of the hole.
  • Make sure the top of the rootball is just above soil level.

STEP 3: Amending the soil and filling in the hole

  • Amend the soil with proper amendments for your soil type. 
  • Incorporate 50% native soil with 50% amendment soils like garden soil, composted manure or soil conditioner.
  • Make sure dirt clods are broken up or removed from hole along with rocks.
  • Fill the hole with soils to the soil level and pack down. Do not cover top of rootball with dirt.
  • Water in thoroughly to remove air pockets.

STEP 4: Mulching and fertilizing

  • Cover the planting site with at least 2 inches of the mulch of your choice (pinestraw, cupress mulch,etc.)
  • High Phosphorus root stimulator fertilizers like Quick Start from Miracle Gro are great to use at time of planting.
  • When planting trees, a tree stake kit may be required to prevent the wind from blowing over or breaking our newly planted tree until it becomes established.

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Posted 2015-11-19T15:32:56+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL