|Pinus sylvestris is a tall evergreen conifer, reaching 50 to 100 feet in height with a 20 to 30 foot spread. Needles are paired, persist 3 years, and are bluish-green. Has an irregular pyramidal form, lower branches usually die off exposing the trunk bark which is gray to red-brown, exfoliating in thin sheets. Female cones are gray-brown to red-brown, 2 to 3 inches long. Fairly adaptable pine valued for its character in form and color. Native circumboreally, from Norway to Scotland and Siberia.
Pines are one of the most diverse groups of evergreen conifers, over 90 species are distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Although most are large trees, they can take a low growing shrub form. Pines have been very important commercially, in timber production, as well as a variety of other manufactured products such as turpentine, and rosin. They tend to be more tolerant of varying soil types and urban environments than either Picea or Abies. Pines tend to develop tap roots, so one should not attempt to transplant them from the wild. All species are grown from seed, with highly variable seed stratification requirements. They can be subject to many diseases, such as damping off, root rot, dieback, blister rust, canker, blight, scale, pine needle miner, pine weevil, bark beetles and pinewood nematode. Well situated plants should be relatively trouble free.
They suffer salt damage along highways, and can get tip burn in areas of high sulfur dioxide or ozone.