Syn.: Pinus rubra Mill.
Family: Pinaceae Lindl.
Pinus sylvestris
Distribution: Eurasia – from Atlantic, i.e. Scotland and northwestern part of the Iberian peninsula (5–7° west longitude), through Europe and Siberia almost to the Pacific Ocean, i.e. to the Sea of Okhotsk (140° eastern longitude). Southernmost in Sierra Nevada Mountains in southern Spain (37° northern longitude), northernmost in Scandinavia, beyond the Arctic Circle (70° northern longitude), northern border leads approximately along the 68th straight line as far as the Kamchatka.
Scots Pine has the largest area of all tree species in the world. Vertical interval 0–2400(–2700 Caucasus) m asl. Centre of prime occurrence is in northern Asia, in Siberia grows in the area of 5,7 mil km2 (about 54 % territorial extent of Europe). Total distribution area makes 123° longitude and 30° latitude, what is about one third of Northern Hemisphere.
The Scots Pine begins to expand in Czechia together with birch tree owing to mild increase of temperature during the last glacial era in the period called Allerod (10000–8800 years B.C.). Fast expansion in Dryas period of these more resistant woody species made possible the existence of their refugium in the Middle Europe. Landscape had in Preboreal period (8300–6800 years B.C.) the character of light taiga forest, which is similar to the northern forests of today with pine, birch, juniper, willow, aspen and Ericaceae representative. Later, in Boreal period (6800–5500 years B.C.), owing to the next increase of temperature started the infiltration of new woody species in the forests: oak, elm, lime, maple and hazel which is characteristic for this period. Mixed oak woods reached their distribution maximum in the Atlantic period (5500–2500 years B.C.). Indigenous vegetation with pine and birch begun regress and restrict their occurrence in the extreme areas.
Pinus sylvestrisPinus sylvestris
The Scots Pine grows presently in Czechia only on extreme relict locations called as relict pinewood. Lowest location is oak wood in Elbe land on sand dune terraces with accumulation of barren blowing sand, then on serpentinite rocks in protected landscape area (PLA) Slavkovský les and Bohemian-Moravian Upland, on boulder hillsides and debris in national park (NP) Bohemian Forest (highest occurrence point in Czechia on debris is near Plešné jezero – lake of glacial origin, up on high 1070 m asl.), on sands and peaty soils and the margins of peatbog in Třeboň PLA (Třeboňsko), on sandstone rocks and in rock towns of northern and northeastern Czechia, on rocky and steep hillsides of valleys these rivers: Jihlava, Oslava, Rokytná, Dyje. It occurs also on promontory of Drahanská vrchovina, on debris of the High Ash Mountains (Czech name Hrubý Jeseník) and on limestone rocks of southern part of Moravia. In sandstone rocks (Českosaské Švýcarsko – Bohemian Switzerland, Labské pískovce – Elbe Sandstones) is pushed back with Eastern White Pine, in Podyjí NP with European Black Pine.
The Scots Pine grows in cultures all over the Czechia today (out of upper locations). This area is three times larger then its native area in Czechia.
Pinus sylvestrisPinus sylvestris
Ecology: Scots Pine is colonial woody species. It is markedly light-requiring and intolerant to the shading. It grows on shallow, poor, drier to stony soils (arisen from silicate rock, limestone and serpentinite rocks). Grows also on peat and swampy soils, somewhere also on salinated soils. From the locations with richer soils is pushed back with the woody species that are more shade-tolerant. Scots Pine is adapted on very wide climatic area with the growing season length between 90–200 days and with precipitation amount 200–1780 mm. Best part of the area is characterized as continental or continental-tuned. Climatic types of Scots Pine in Verkhoyansk Range in Siberia lives in extreme conditions on permafrost, growing season is not longer then 90 days and minimum temperature reaches -64 °C. On the contrary the climatic types in south Spain are growing in supra- and oromediterranean scale height with the growing season length of 200 days with thermal sum four times higher than in the north. Deep-set root system and thicker bark made Scots Pine resistant to a fire and regeneration able on mineral soils of burned areas.
It grows in Czechia mainly in the communities of alliances Erico-Pinion, Dicrano-Pinion, Vaccinio, in rock communities of alliances Alysso-Festucion pallentis, Asplenion-serpentin, Seslerio-Festucion glaucae. Supporting woody species are mainly Quercus petraea, Tilia cordata, Carpinus betulus, Acer campestre, Betula pendula. Rarely grows also with Picea abies, Abies alba, Juniperus communis, Betula carpatica, Sorbus aria, S. torminalis, Pyrus pyraster, Padellus mahaleb, Berberis vulgaris, Frangula alnus, Ligustrum vulgare, Viscum album subsp. austriacum, etc.
Pinus sylvestrisPinus sylvestris
In northern Europe (Scandinavia, Scotland and northern Russia) is Pine dominant species, that is reaching more northern then spruce. It grows in communities with Betula pendula, B. pubescens, Salix spp.etc. In undergrowth we can find some representatives of the Ericaceae family and also Bryophytes and Lichenes.
Maximum distribution attains Scots Pine in the boreal coniferous forest zone of Eurasia and mainly Siberia. Here grows on wide area from northern tundra until southern steppe. Light pine-taiga is formed mainly by Pinus sylvestris and is almost without herbal and bryophyte undergrowth. Undergrowth is represented with thick carpet of lichenes, mainly from family Cladonia. In dark taiga with dominant species Picea obovata, Abies sibirica forms Scots Pine forest ingredient, from deciduous species are here disseminated Betula pubescens, Sorbus aucuparia, Populus tremula.
In light larch taiga with dominant Larix sibirica is pine disseminated, sporadically grows there also Pinus sibirica and Betula platyphylla etc.
In the South-Russian steppe areas grows Scots Pine islandish in pine woods even with supporting species Prunus tenella, Cerasus fruticosa, Caragana frutex, C. arborescens, Cotinus coggygria, Cytisus spp., Juniperus sabina etc. On the steppe in eastern Siberia in Kazakhstan grows with Juniperus communis, J. sabina, Betula spp., Spirea crenifolia, Caragana arborescens and representatives of Ericaceae. In headlands of Altay grows in shrubby steppe with Rosa acicularis, Lonicera tatarica, Spirea hypericifolia, Prunus tenella, Stipa capillata, Festuca sulcata etc.
Pinus sylvestris
In the Alps grows mainly in deep, dry valley with continental climate, in different types of pine woods with Pinus mugo, Pinus uncinata, Juniperus sabina, Daphne alpina, Erica carnea, Amelanchier spp., Sorbus aria etc. In Pyrenees is with Pinus uncinata, Pinus nigra, Fagus sylvatica, Quercus petraea, Quercus pubescens, then with Pinus pinea, in mediterranean mountains with Pinus nigra, Pinus pinaster, Taxus baccata, Juniperus thurifera, Quercus pubescens, Quercus faginea, Ilex aquifolium, Padellus mahaleb, Acer pseudoplatanus etc.
In the Sierra Nevada Mountains (place of southernmost detached occurrence) in southern Spain reaches the high 2200 (to 2400) m asl. In lower parts (1200–1700 m asl.) grows with Quercus pyrenaica in higher parts with Juniperus sabina, J. communis subsp. alpina.
In Asia Minor grows in parts of Pontic Mountains with Abies nordnmanniana, Picea orientalis, Fagus orientalis. In the area of Caucasus, where reaches the highest point in 2700 m above sea level, in lower parts with species Populus tremula, Acer trautvetteri, Sorbus spp., Betula spp., in higher parts forms more-trunk vegetation that is reminding with its character northern pine wood with lichenes and representatives of Ericaceae.
Pinus sylvestris
Description: It is a higher evergreen coniferous tree growing up to 40 m in height and 1 m trunk diameter. On extreme locations is smaller, sometimes only shrubby growth. Root system is relatively bulky, made almost by strong taproot and lateral roots.
Treetop is in northern and northeastern part of European area slim with fine branching, in middle and southern part are dominant the individuals with arched to umbrella-shape treetop and strong branches. Trunk is straight, on extreme locations is often tortuous. At the bottom part is covered by strong, fissured, grey-brown bark, in upper part orange or fox-red that is stripping away in paper-leaves. Annual shoots are green-brown, bald, older branches are grey-brown. Buds are oblong egg-shaped, spiky, without resin, or slightly resiniform, covered with fox membranous scales. Needles are stiff, growing, 1–8 cm long, 1–1,8 mm broad, spiky, slightly oblong twisted, on the flat ventral side are grey-green, on the gibbous dorsal side are dark green, or bluish grey-green, at the edges are serrated, produced in fascicles of two on brachyblasts. They fall off after 2–3 years. Needle vaginas are about 8 mm large, mostly yellow (rarely red); growing on the basis elongating sprout instead of needles, most often at the bottom of treetop. Female strobile are spherical to oval-spherical, 5–6 mm long, usually pink, in the end of last year’s branches in upper part of treetop. Cones are mostly single or by 2–3, pedunculated or almost sessile, oval-conical, on the basis rounded, often asymmetric, glareless, grey-brown, with 2,5–7 × 2–3,5 cm size. Plates of seedy scales are diamond, on the illuminated sides are more developed, flat to pyramidal, or beaky gibbous. Navel is small, flat or with short tip, light-brown, glossy, without black border. Seeds are oval, 3–4 long, whity, brown or grey to black, with 3–4 times longer browny to reddish-brown wing, on the basis tongs-hugging. The lifespan is about 300 years (rarely to 600).
Pinus sylvestris
Basics of female and male strobile are created in previous summer. About 2 weeks after the beginning of the spring sprouting are strobile full created. Male strobile emit the pollen and female are able this pollen during 2–3 weeks receive. Shortly after that begins the female strobile get thick; pollen seeds send pollen tube. At that time male strobile subside the forward movement and gradually turn back. (Fading away happens from May to June). By the autumn grow up until 1 cm size, in this stadium are marked as conelet. Germinated pollen stays dormant in conelet for 12 month. During this time conelets grow up. 12 month after the pollination recovers the germinant pollen its growth and fertilizes the egg. Shortly after that, in June (2nd year) begins all system growing and in the summer reaches the final size of the cone. In the beginning of the October the cones mature. In case of fair weather small number of seeds fly out the cone during the October till December, main period of cones-opening occurs in the early spring of the 3rd year. Empty cones fall off during the summer of the 3rd year after the pollination. Larger cone crop occurs at average every 3rd till 6th year.
Pinus sylvestris
Notice: Variability inside the taxon Pinus sylvestris is extremely large. It was described over 140 subspecies, varieties and forms. In term of the expansion is segregated about 22 geographical varieties (one of the most conservative theory). P. Svoboda subdivides this species in 3 basic climatypes: northern, steppe and mountain pine. Businsky subdivides this species in the subspecies after the geography and morphological marks: P. sylvestris subsp. sylvestris, P. sylvestris subsp. hamata (glossy labels), P. sylvestris subsp. sibirica. It was described a lot of forms also in term of forestry and economy – according to the growth, shape of trunk, treetop and the quality of wood (in Czechia is it e.g. high quality Pine from Třeboň). Another described forms coming from the variability of the needles, bark, cones (after the shape of labels f. plana, f. gibba, f. reflexa and after the size f. macrocarpa, f. microcarpa). Scots pine forms in nature spontaneous hybrids with Pinus mugo and Pinus uncinata.
Pinus sylvestrisPinus sylvestris
Use: One of the most important economic woody species. It yields resinous, light, soft, flexible and durable wood with yellowish-white collour, red-brown duramen and sharply marked annual rings. Compared to pine-wood is more fragile, less tough, uneven and worse fissile, less glossy. Because of its high content of resin is very durable mainly in water and moisture and so it is using mainly for a production of hydraulic structures, pumps, mine-timber, sleepers, masts. Then is using for a construction, production of sawn wood, fibrous material, heating fuel.
In the past was distillated a tar from the wood and subsequently black ship- or shoemaker’s pitch, essential oils. Strong resiniform sump-wood and roots was burned and so was made soot. From this soot was made printing ink and home-made ink. With damaging of trunk or bark stripping was getting a resin for turpentine (production of dyes, varnish, polishes) and colophonium.
In earlier times was macerated the fresh needles for preparing the fabrics which was using to production of carpets, blankets or as a filling material. Essential oil that contains pine-wood is using in medicine. It is gained from resin, needles and buds, it has antiseptic characteristics. It is using in different forms at the diseases of airways and lungs, rheumatic problems, as the sedative also in aromatherapy.
Pinus sylvestris
It undertakes the function of anti-erosive and recultivation woody species. It is planting also in parks with a wide variety of decorative cultivars. It is one of the most popular Christmas trees. In USA prefer this woody species for plantation production of Christmas trees – about 1/3 of cumulative production. Except of the natural distribution area is known the extremely high to aggressive natural regeneration of introductive Scots Pine in the area of the Great Lakes in north-eastern USA and south-eastern Canada on the abandoned farmland, scene of a fire, along the roads, and often is also in vegetation with native Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus). This fact reminds in a manner the invasive behaviour of Eastern White Pine in pine-wood in Czechia (Elbe Sandstones).
A number of mycorrhizal fungi species is bound to a Scots pine (was watched about 120 fungi species in ecto- and endotrophic symbiosis with the pine-roots), parasitically and saproparasitically.
Pinus sylvestris
These images were taken in Czechia (dates 30. 9. 2006 – Dutý Kámen; 6. 7. 2004 – Stohánek; 28. 9. 2006 – Sychrov; 28. 9. 2006 – Arboretum Nový Dvůr u Opavy).
Translation: Lucie Hodačová