Grow in moist, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of a variety of soil types, including poor soils, as long as the drainage is good. Plants prefer cool summer climates and dislike the heat and humidity of the deep South. Plants are generally tolerant of urban conditions.
Pinus sylvestris, commonly called Scots pine, is a fast-growing, conical to columnar, medium sized conifer with distinctive flaking orange/red-brown bark. It typically grows 30-60’ tall in cultivation, but may reach 100’ in the wild. It develops an open-rounded, irregular crown as it matures. It is a very widely distributed pine that is native to northern Europe and northern Asia, but has also naturalized in parts of the northeastern and north-central U.S. It is the only pine that is native to Great Britain. Plants will vary in habit, hardiness and needle appearance depending on their specific native geographical growing region. Scots pine generally features (1) twisted, blue-green needles (to 3” long) in bundles of two, (2) gray to light brown cones (to 3” long) and (3) scaly orange/red bark in upper part but darker red-brown near the base. The common name of scotch pine is still popular, but is now considered by some experts to be inappropriate.
Genus name comes from the Latin name for pines.
Specific epithet means of woods and forests.
'Hillside Creeper' is a fast-growing (12"+ per year), prostrate, spreading cultivar. Over the first 8-10 years, it typically grows 2' tall but spreads to 8' wide. Growth rate slows considerably as plant ages. Light green, twisted needles in bundles of 2 turn an attractive yellowish green in winter.
Scots pine and its cultivars may be grown in the St. Louis area, but they will often struggle because of soil, climate and disease susceptibility. Sphaeropsis (Diplodia) tip blight can be a significant problem in some areas. Watch for pine wilt nematode. Sawflies, moths and scale may also appear.
Good specimen or accent for rock gardens or foregrounds of shrub borders. Also appropriate for slopes and banks.