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© Laura Gaudette

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Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 2 plant ID/comparison guides:

collage of Red Pine and Scots Pine

Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) vs. Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Updated December 20th, 2021

These species are sometimes confused because they both have reddish bark, but they can be easily distinguished by their needle color and length, and also by differences in bark color. The cones are similar in size and both have scales that usually lack prickles, but the scales have a different shape at their tip. Their habitat preferences overlap, with both frequently found on sandy soils, but Scots pine is also found on boggy sites and in anthropogenic habitats where red pine is not usually found. Both species are planted in plantations, but only Scots pine is widely used in landscaping.

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collage of Eastern White Pine and Red Pine

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) vs. Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

Updated December 17th, 2021

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) and red pine (Pinus resinosa) are often confused where their ranges overlap. Both are large, long-lived, straight-growing trees with long needles, frequently seen towering over other trees in a forest. They are easily distinguished by needle count per bundle, cone length, and bark color. With experience, they can also be identified at a glance by crown shape and foliage color and texture. Although both species are grown in plantations, red pine is rarely grown in landscaping. Although their habitats overlap and both frequently grow near lakes, white pine is found in richer, more humid habitats, and can be found farther south, whereas red pine is restricted to a more northerly range and sites with poorer, usually sandy soil.

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