Scots pine (Eng), pino silvestre, pino albar, pino de Valsaín (Spa), pi roig (Cat), lerr, pinu gorria (Baq), pino bravo, piñeiro silvestre (Glg), pinheiro-silvestre (Por).
“…on one occasion I reached a distant part of the Maer estate on the 20th of August for black-game shooting, before I could see: I then toiled on with the gamekeeper the whole day through thick heath and young Scotch firs”.
‘Autobiography’, Charles Darwin
Large-formed tree that can be up to 40 m tall. The trunk is thick and characteristic because its upper part acquires an orange tone, like that of salmon, as it loses the thick section of its bark and uncovers the papery-looking internal part. This characteristic can even be seen from a distance, distinguishing a forest of Scots pine from other species. The acicular leaves have a bluish tone, develop in twos, and are 2-6 cm long. The cones are small, around 3-6 cm long, and either appear to sit on the twigs or have a very short stalk. The pine nuts are also very small and have a wing that aids their dispersion once the ripe cone opens.
This species is adapted to the cold humid climate in the north and the mountainous zones of the south, wherever there is sufficient rainfall. It is indifferent to soil type and grows mainly between altitudes of 1000 m and 2000 m.
In the book Plants. Loves and vegetable civilisations, the French scientist Jean-Marie Pelt writes: “The Scots pine, without a doubt the most widespread, that dominates the vegetation over millions and millions of hectares, in the great boreal woodlands, and forms an immense forest belt around the entire planet, that ascends as far as the borders of the polar circle”. It is, in fact, perhaps the most widespread tree in the world, in a natural way as well as due to reforestation with this plant. It is native to a large part of Europe and Asia, particularly the central and northern regions. In the Iberian Peninsula it is the second most important in terms of extent, after the maritime pine. It occurs naturally particularly in the northern half and the mountainous zones in the centre and east, but it is used for reforestation and has naturalised in many places.