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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pinus sylvestris - Scotch Pine

I love a nice scotch pine, something about the bark and the blue green needles and their generally open canopy creates a beautiful landscape tree. The species has one of the largest natural ranges in northern europe so you are likely to see lots of variation in leaf color and growth habit. There are tons of cultivars as well. I see quite a few in our neighborhoods.



Pyramidal when young, eventually open (see above) and spreading to 50'. Color depends on seed source or cultivar. Usually with distinct reddish flaking bark. This one is a cultivar called 'Watererii'.



Needles in 2's. 2.5-4" long, stiff and twisted. Color may be very blue ranging to light grey-green.




Reproductive structures, males yellow, females red.





Cones green becoming light brown, 1-2.5" long, much longer than wide (ovoid). Scales have squarish raised umbo.




Stems greenish brown as seen above, developing into beautiful red exfoliating bark.



Many dwarf cultivars arise from mutations on the stems. Some are cause by mistletoe, others not. They are generally called witches brooms.



Misidentification:
Other 2 needle pines here:
P. cembrioides, very short needles, small tree, tiny cones with pinyon seeds.
P. controta, has very short leaves and very much smaller cones, not really common.
P. densiflora has very thin leaves and every much smaller cones as well as being clustered, less common as well.
P. halepensis has thin leaves, found on the freeways usually.
P. mugo, small shrub generally,
P. nigra, leaves dark, stiff, white buds, yellowish tan cones, 
P. pinea, leaves thicker, stiffer, look for the leaves on new shoots on this one to be laying almost flat and forward as well as being retained longer.
P. sylvestris, bluish green leaves, distinctly twisted, smaller cones, reddish bark, not common.
P. thunbergii, thicker needles, often yellowish green, very sharp and usually twisted.


Location:

Aptos
425 Ewell Drive (along with several other conifers)

Capitola
Cortez St on the corner of Saint Francis Ave.

Santa Cruz
227 Anchorage Ave

Scotts Valley
MacDorsa Park

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