“Inverleith” Scotch Pine

This one is  a good example of how we can be tricked by the plant labels on the things we buy in nurseries. I was looking for a Fastigiate (upright growing) Scotch Pine of some sort when I found this one. It’s supposed to grow 10-15 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide according to the label. Not so according to Monrovia, who say it will get to 40 ft tall and 20 ft wide!

And they’re not the only ones who differ from the label. I’ve done a lot of research on this tree and it’s hard to find, but most places say it’ll get from 1 1/2 – 2 meters, or to 20 ft, or maybe 40 ft, and one even said it would get to 60 feet and be as big as the species!!! Darn! I have room to to let this get as big as I thought it would and it can get taller, but it can’t 20 feet wide or I’ll have problems…

Now I’ll admit that most folks say that the sizes given on most plant labels and such are considered “10 year sizes” as opposed to mature sizes. Some sites give you both and it’s always nice to see that. I think I’ve gotten some of both is the problem. It will obviously get to the 10 foot size since it’s already over 8 or 9 feet tall after only 4 years. In time it’ll get much bigger I know. But such is life, eh?

I’ve arranged these photos in a time line as I’ve done before. I find it fascinating to show how the plants have grown over the years and I’ll probably do this sort of thing again since I have shots from several years now. I planted this in late 2009 as the first shot shows and it’s grown so well ever since I’ve fallen in love with it.

It’s got a lot of white in the needles and they add a silvery cast to the look of the tree. It also has a very narrow profile and is up against a fence and is gr0wing flat against it. It’s growing upright on the tips so I have hopes that it’ll stay more narrow as it grows, but I can’t ignore those sites that say it becomes a large tree.

All I can do is try to prune it with the surrounding plants well and keep them happy as they mature together. Each year this tree has grown a lot and the candles in the spring are a joy to behold all on their own. When the needles open on it and the cones start to form it’s truly lovely. When the cones turn brown it’s a classic.

So read labels carefully and then browse them on Google or whatever you use and find out what they’re Really likely to do. It’s not nice to be tricked like this and if I weren’t so intrepid about my gardening skills I’d be afraid it’d get too overwhelming. But I have faith that I’ll be able to train it along with everyone else in the yard to behave well and grow to fit its space. A least I hope I can… 😉

Read the labels, and let the buyer beware!


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by The Editors of Garden Variety http://gardenvarietynews.wordpress.com/ on January 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm edit

    I love your garden!



    • Thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad you like the garden. I hope it’s OK that I copied your comment from the first picture to here so others could see it.



  2. Each one of your evergreens has their own personality in your garden:-) I will say it again, I love the way you integrate evergreens in your space! The birds must love you in the winter since it is a place for them to hide from the cold. I really like this little pine it sort of reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but a lot healthier-lol
    It will be fun watching you nurture this strong pine..it has a nice thick trunk:-)
    peace to you steve:-)



    • Thank you Robbie! One of the advantages of having a small garden is that I only have one specimen of each plant, for the most part, and I get to see them as individuals and treasure their unique personalities. This one has captured my interest for a long time. I love your mention of the Charlie Brown tree. It Is like that isn’t it? I hadn’t noticed… You know we are a Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary, https://gardeningingreenwood.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/caring-for-the-birds/, so yes the birds do love it here. And I’m glad you noticed the trunk. It’s even bigger at the base where it’s grafted onto something that must be the species because it’s much bigger at ground level. Very cool.
      Peace to you too!,



      • I just stopped by your post ( caring for birds) and had no idea you were a ‘Back Yard Wildlife Sancutuary”…well, now it makes sense when I look at your design with the evergreens, water, select plants etc….what a great job! You are providing for those little critters that have limited places in our urban crawl:-) High Five Steve!



        • Thank you Robbie! I love having this garden for the wildlife we have here. So many birds of all kinds. We have all the requisite things they need – food, cover, water, nesting boxes, etc. It’s a joy just to see the hummers and others as they flit around the yard all year round. It makes me so joyful to listen to their antics. I wish I knew birds like I know plants but I’m pretty ignorant. I just love them… 😉 BTW. here’s the other post I was looking for when I mentioned it to you: https://gardeningingreenwood.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/greenwood/. It has a bit more info on the Wildlife Sanctuary and how we did it here in WA.
          All the best to you always,



  3. I liked seeing the progression of your tree.
    Unless you are watching you might not realize they are growing. I look at a bush or tree and say…”I don’t remember that getting so big.”
    Of course if it’s weeds, I notice every little cm they grow. 😦

    I’m sure you never have weeds in your garden. 🙂



    • I love these retrospectives. It’s so cool to me to see how much they grow. It shocks me sometimes in fact how they grow so fast. Others take years to get to a foot! And as for the weeds… No Weeds! Ha! Louie and I were just discussing using a flame thrower to deal with some of the more difficult weeds we have. We don’t have many because of the mulch, but some are just too much for me and I’m gonna fry ’em! Better than chemicals or hand pulling them, and so much fun! 😉
      Thanks for your visit… I love your droll sense of humor!



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