Pinus sylvestris 'French Blue' - 'French Blue' Scotch Pine
Family - Pinaceae
Size - The species grows 30 to 60' in height with a spread of 30 to 40'. My assumption is that French Blue will get no where near these proportions, especially here in the southern part of its range. I would expect it to be similiar to the cultivar 'Watereri', a semidwarf which reaches 10 to 15' in height and is a slow grower. This plant was in a 2 gallon container, and 2 1/2' tall when planted in the winter of 1992. It is currently about 4 1/2' tall with a equal spread in 1997. This picture was taken in December 2000, at approximately 6 to 8 feet tall. May 2003, at approximately 10 feet.
Foliage - Two needled Pine. Needles are blue-green in color, twisted, stiff, and 2 1/2 to 31/2" in length.
Pests and Diseases - Pine needle scale occurs regularly every spring on the tips of isolated branches. It is eliminated with a horticultural oil and presents little problem. Today in 2003, I can think of no problems we've had with Pine Needle scale in the last sevral years.
Landscape Use - Probably will develop a picturesque, distorted shape as it ages like Scotch Pines can. Could be used as a specimen. Scotch Pine are not commonly seen in this area and I doubt it will ever become frequently used. Is attractive in a mixed conifer planting.
Performance - 8 I never really thought a Scotch Pine would be around today when I planted it in 1992, but it has proven to tolerate much more adverse conditions than I ever thought it would. Even though it appears to do fairly well in North Alabama, it will never be invested in by the grower, the growth rate is too slow, it's too speculative of a plant to invest in, and there are too many other conifers which can produce a quicker turnaround. Zone 7 is probably going to be about the maximum of it's southern range. It is hardy through zone 2.