How to Grow Scotch Pine Trees

Written by gail delaney
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How to Grow Scotch Pine Trees
Buy a live Scotch pine tree for Chirstmas and then plant it in your yard. (pine tree image by Pershing from

The Christmas tree or Scotch pine tree (Pinus Sylvestris) is the perfect tree to beautify any yard. Although most pine trees take years to grow, the Scotch pine is one of the fastest growing pine trees. In six years, this tree can grow to 6 feet in height. One way to tell an older Scotch pine tree is to look at the bark. If it has orange-coloured bark in the crown, it is an older tree. The Scotch pine is a native tree of Europe and is winter hardy through the Great Plains states and Southern Canada.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Spade
  • Water
  • Mulch

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  1. 1

    Choose a place that has full sun and then dig a hole that is 3 to 4 times the diameter of the container or rootball of your Scotch pine tree. Dig it to the same depth, but loosen the ground with your spade or shovel. This will make it easier for the roots to grow.

  2. 2

    Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain away. This will help ensure that the ground has a deep level of moisture.

  3. 3

    Remove the container from your Scotch pine tree. To do this, lay the tree on its side and pull the container from the rootball. If the container does not come off easily, then you may have to cut it off with a sharp knife. If the rootball is wrapped in burlap, simply cut the burlap and remove.

  4. 4

    Gently loosen or tease the roots around the sides. This is important so the roots will grow out in the ground and not continue to wrap around the rootball.

  5. 5

    Place the tree into the hole. Push the soil back into the hole, tamping the soil around the tree's rootball.

  6. 6

    Create a water ring. Make a ring of soil around the tree at least one foot away from the trunk and two to three inches high. This will help keep the water where it will soak down and water the roots. You may level out the water ring after the tree is established,

  7. 7

    Water the Scotch pine tree well. Keep the tree watered, but do not keep the soil soggy wet.

  8. 8

    Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around the tree. The mulch can be pine-straw, compost or pulverised bark. This will help keep moisture in the ground and stop weeds from growing. If any weeds do grow, pull them out. Pine trees grow better without competing with weeds.

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