Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) 50 Fresh SeedsScots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) is a species of pine native to Europe and Asia, ranging from Scotland, Ireland and Portugal in the west, east to eastern Siberia, south to the Caucasus Mountains, and as far north as well inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia (including Sápmi). In the north of its range, it occurs from sea level to 1,000 m, while in the south of its range it is a high altitude mountain tree, growing at 1,200–2,600 m altitude. It is readily identified by its combination of fairly short, blue-green leaves and orange-red bark.Pinus sylvestris is an evergreen coniferous tree growing up to 35 m in height and 1 m trunk diameter when mature, exceptionally to 45 m tall and 1.7 m trunk diameter and on very productive sites (in Estonia, there are some 220 year old trees that are 46 metres tall in the forests of Järvselja). The bark is thick, scaly dark grey-brown on the lower trunk, and thin, flaky and orange on the upper trunk and branches. The habit of the mature tree is distinctive due to its long, bare and straight trunk topped by a rounded or flat-topped mass of foliage. The lifespan is normally 150–300 years, with the oldest recorded specimens (in Sweden and Norway) just over 700 years.The shoots are light brown, with a spirally arranged scale-like pattern. On mature trees the leaves ('needles') are a glaucous blue-green, often darker green to dark yellow-green in winter, 2.5–5 cm long and 1–2 mm broad, produced in fascicles of two with a persistent grey 5–10 mm basal sheath; on vigorous young trees the leaves can be twice as long, and occasionally occur in fascicles of three or four on the tips of strong shoots. Leaf persistence varies from two to four years in warmer climates, and up to nine years in subarctic regions. Seedlings up to one year old bear juvenile leaves; these are single (not in pairs), 2–3 cm long, flattened, with a serrated margin.Mature open cones and seedsThe seed cones are red at pollination, then pale brown, globose and 4–8 mm diameter in their first year, expanding to full size in their second year, pointed ovoid-conic, green, then grey-green to yellow-brown at maturity, 3-7.5 cm in length. The cone scales have a flat to pyramidal apophysis, with a small prickle on the umbo. The seeds are blackish, 3–5 mm long with a pale brown 12–20 mm wing; they are released when the cones open in spring 22–24 months after pollination. The pollen cones are yellow, occasionally pink, 8–12 mm long; pollen release is in mid to late spring.