Pinus sylvestris & cvs.
I’m a huge fan of all the pines, especially Scots. I love the colour and texture of the bark, the random crooks and bends of the trunk, and the way the limbs hold their needles, giving the trees the look of an exotic, oriental garden tree.
We are fortunate in Red Deer to have a lot of green spaces in the older neighbourhoods, with a lot of Scots pines in large, mixed, woody planting. They stand up well as a specimen or accent shade tree, but look equally natural and appealing in a grove or shelterbelt. One of the nicest shelterbelts I’ve seen is on an acreage between Sylvan lake and Bentley, consisting entirely of mature Scots pines.
Scots pines are available in a range of cultivars, from dwarf, to columnar, to specialty forms.
Pruning is rarely required, so long as the tree is placed properly at planting. For deadwood removal and clearance pruning, anytime of year would be fine.
Remove deadwood if desired. Clear back branches from sidewalks and structures as required on mature trees.
Scots pine is a good candidate for Niwaki, or specialty pruning. It is slow-growing, so creating an interesting specialty form will take many years.
For a good introduction to specialty pine pruning, look for the book Niwaki, by Jake Hobson.
(c) 2017 Shane LePage, Wild Rose Garden & Tree Service Inc., Red Deer, AB