Pinus sylvestris: Scots pine or Scotch pine

Pinus sylvestris: pine or fir is a common forest tree

Pine and Scots pine

Pinus sylvestris (Bot.)
Pine, Scotch pine (Eng.)
Pin sylvestre (French)
Waldkiefer, Waldföhre (German)
Pinaceae – pine family

The pine is one of the most modest trees. In the Dutch woods, he is a common tree, the best when he stands solitary on the heath. There he develops under the influence of the wind often whimsical forms. In forests in old age he is straight trunks. The pine is a conifer that 40 meters high. He is 600 years old and has been described in ancient mythologies. As fertility symbols were sacred objects pine cones.

Scots pine trees belongs to the light because he is light-transmitting so that the ground vegetation is possible if the soil is not too poor. Only in forests where pine trees are very close together (cultivated forests), it is dark and hardly anything else grows.


The name is actually more appropriate than pine Scots pine. It is derived from the Latin pinus which means easy, but perhaps also of Pinus, the girlfriend of the Greek god Pan. He was also called mast because they used the wood used for boats and rafts. Mastbos at Breda commemorates the ancient name.

An old word for the chin and is skiing. Place names like Kinschot Kinrooi in Flanders and indicate the presence of pine in the past.

Distribution and location

Already in prehistoric times, the native pine in the Netherlands. When stumps were digging, called driftwood found. After he had disappeared, the pine in 1515 by Count Henry of Wassenaar reinstated and planted. In areas with more continental climate, pine was not displaced.

The pine is now almost everywhere in Europe, Asia Minor, on the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. In the Netherlands we pine forests of the Veluwe, in the dunes, in Brabant and Drenthe. One of the oldest pines in the Dutch province of Gelderland Wolfhezerbos nature has recently fallen. This tree was 400 years old and have succumbed under its own weight. He was about 20 m high and had a magnitude of 4 m.

The pine grows in the European lowlands and mountains to an altitude of 2100 m. It is hardy and grows sometimes in extreme locations (eg shifting sands). old pine

Plant Characteristics

In his youth, the evergreen pine cone shape, aging a flattened crown-shaped screen. The long gray-green needles are round, long and are paired bundles of twigs. The base of each needle pair is surrounded by a sheath of scales.

The tree is monoecious, ie male and female flowers are on the same plant and appear in May The male flowers are crowded at the base of the new long shoots, are cylindrical, 5-8 mm long, yellow and produce large amounts of pollen.

The female flower cones stand upright at the top of the shot from the previous year, are 5 mm long, dark red or violet. If they are fertile they bow down. Only one year after pollination fertilization takes place. Then begins to grow to the ovary to ripen later cone.

In mature state, the short stemmed and brown egg-shaped cones. In the spring in the pine forest delicate taps to hear from cones that burst and the seeds drop than that carried by the wind. We speak, therefore, of fly pines because B.V. a moor in a short time in a pine forest may change.

The seeds are gevleugeld.gevleugeld pine seed

The bark is rough and discontinuous, in older trees, thick bottom, eighty Kors, brown. Further on, he is thin and reddish yellow, but it often chips go.

The root system consists of a long, strong taproot with strong lateral roots, which extend far and give the tree resistance to storms.

female flowers


The pine tree was the ideal for the cultivation of moorland. In the 19th century it was planted in vegetables numbers because shoring timber needed for coal mines.

The wood of pine, pine, strong and very sound, very little work and has good machinability. It is used for windows, floors, doors, furniture, etc., as in hydraulic pile of wood, damwerk and bridge work. Nowadays, one often prefers tropical hardwood, plastic or aluminum. The highly resinous pine wood was also used to produce charcoal and wood tar. It was formerly handled rope.

male flowers

The oldest canoe in the world (from about 7500 BC.) Is made of a tribe of Scots pine. The remains were found in it a thick layer of bog in Drenthe in the construction of a highway.

The needles were in the 19th century for the manufacture of dennenwol called Waldwolle used. These served as stop material. The needles were also an essential oil extracted. The flammable turpentine from pine resin is extracted.

In ancient farmhouses they lit the room with the so-called kienspanen rooms (branches dipped in resin).

Bees like flowers and pine trees provide an aromatic honey pine.


The pine tree was a symbol of fertility, immortality and eternity by the ancient Greeks held in high regard. It was the sacred tree of the nature goddess Cybele and her lover Attis was unfaithful to her. The cult of the Phrygian Cybele was a pine tree farmers (as a symbol of the phallus) cut (castration) and solemnly carried to a temple. After a day of mourning celebrated the resurrection of Attis. Unlike the farmers honored citizens in the pine Ares, the god of war.

The rustling of the wind in the pines they brought in connection with Boreas, god of wind. Pinus was, according to an ancient Greek myth, ever the friend of the god Pan. They were overcome by the icy winds of Boreas and Pinus died. Pan then changed her into a pine tree. When the rustling pines (crying), Boreas is still remembered for his crime,

Popular belief

When in spring the ground with the yellow pollen from the male flowers strewn, was afraid of this one sulfur rain, because it was the devil.

West of the Rhine was the long pine-eminently the maypole. The tree was stripped of its branches, peeled, decorated with ribbons or rags and put upright. Such a tree I see every year in May next to the church in Noorbeek (Limburg). Sometimes even hams and sausages hanging in the crown. Who got it done in order to climb up, got it as prize.

Pine branches were used in rituals during the Walpurgis Night (April 30) to chase away the witches who were with the devil to dance. They did this by burning branches and lots of noise.

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One Response to Pinus sylvestris: Scots pine or Scotch pine

  1. Pingback: Pine Pinnus Sylvestris

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