Featured Plant


Pinus sylvestris, commonly called Scots pine, Scotch fir, or Scotch pine, is a hardy conifer tree that can adapt to a number of different climates. Pinus sylvestris has become a popular Christmas tree choice because of its full shape and ability to hold its needles for an extended period of time.

Pinus sylvestris is native to the United Kingdom and Northern Europe and is the national tree of Scotland. It has been planted across Canada for landscaping and to be used as a wind break around fields and yards. The tree prefers well-drained, dry soils and has some drought tolerance. Pinus sylvestris is suitable to grow in hardiness zones 2 to 9. 

Mature trees can grow up to 40 meters tall, 12 meters wide, and have an expected lifespan of 150 to 300 years. The oldest recorded Pinus sylvestris is estimated to be 760 years old and located in Lapland, Finland. The bark of the tree looks flaky, is orange or rust coloured at the top and grey-brown at the bottom. As an evergreen, the needles remain a blue-green hue throughout the year and can be distinguished from other evergreens by the way they twist around one another. Both male and female cones can be found on the same tree, with the female cones maturing after more than a year. 

When planting Pinus sylvestris ensure that there is plenty of room to allow for its full growth. You can find plantings of Pinus sylvestris located on the west side of the Zoo along Commissary Drive. 
The Gymnosperm Database | Arbor Day Foundation | Ontario Trees & Shrubs
Scots pine branch