Content Detail

Scots pine is susceptible to a number of disease and insect problems. These include Diplodia (Sphaeropsis) tip blight, pine wilt nematode (a fatal pest) and Zimmerman pine moth. Scots pine is not recommended for planting anywhere in the Midwest. This species is native to Europe and Asia, but was introduced into American landscapes and was widely used for many decades. It is no longer recommended because of its susceptibility to insect and disease problems.

To find suitable replacements for this tree, go to The Morton Arboretum’s tree and plant finder. Before purchasing or planting, be sure to check for any local or state guidelines, and ensure that it is suitable for its habitat by reviewing planting considerations or by finding it in the USDA Plants Database.

  • Family (English) Pine
  • Family (botanic) Pinaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Evergreen (foliage year-round)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet), Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 30-60 feet
  • Mature width 30-40 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late winter, early spring, mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Broad, Irregular, Pyramidal
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Wildlife Birds, Butterflies, Moths, Small mammals
  • Has cultivars Yes

More Information

Size and Method of Spreading

Scots pine grows 30 to 60 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide.

Native Geographic Location and Habitat

Scots pine is native to Europe and Asia.

Bark Color and Texture

The tree has a dark blocky bark on the lower end of the trunk. The upper portion of the trunk shows a distinct orange-colored bark.

Leaf Description

Evergreen needles are 1 to 3 long and held in bundles of two. They are blue-green in color and often twisted.

Flower Description

The tree is monoecious, having male and female reproductive structures. Neither are ornamentally important.

Fruit Description

Fruits are woody cones that are oval, short-stalked, and 1 1/2 to 3 inches long.

Care Knowledge

Plant Care

Due to susceptibility to many diseases and pests, Scots pines are not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. 

Pests, Diseases, and Tolerances

This species is prone to a number of disease and insect problems, especially Diplodia (Sphaeropsis) tip blight, pine wilt nematode (a fatal pest) and Zimmerman pine moth.


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