Scots Pine is an evergreen tree native to Europe and Asia. “Scotch pine has the largest geographic range of any pine, from Great Britain, Ireland, and Portugal east to eastern Siberia. It grows above the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia and south to the Mediterranean”. Mature stands of Scots Pine found in Europe are often quite beautiful, as the trees have a symmetrical shape (think Christmas tree!) and distinctive red-orange bark.
They rarely do so well here, though. Easily turned by wind and weather, unless grown in the controlled environment of a tree farm, Scots Pine is usually a crooked, misshaped tree.
An invasive, non-native species like Scotch pine is a problem. Not only does it spread into open areas, but it displaces other native species. Scots pine is susceptible to disease and insect problems that can then infect native pines.
One of only three pine species on Beaver Island, Scots pine has very short, twisted needles (no more than two inches long) that occur two in a bundle. This makes it easily distinguishable from our native pine trees:the white pine has five needles in a bundle; the red pine, also native, has needles – two in a bundle – that are four to five inches long.
Once again, awareness is the first step in maintaining our precious landscape.