The Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is the most common tree species found in Finnish forests. Scots pines can often be found growing on sandy shores as well. In forests, Scots pines grow straight up, towards the light. You can find this type of pine forest, which is atypical in Helsinki, in Kallahdenharju. Scots pines growing on windswept shores are more varied in regard to their shape, and do not grow as tall.
Scots pines provide versatile timber for buildings, furniture and the paper industry. Their sap is used to make tar and turpentine, while young shoots, buds and pine cones are used for medicinal purposes. Scots pines also provide pine oil, which is used as an ingredient in massage and bath oils. During famines, flour made from the cambium and phloem layers of Scots pine was used as a substitute for grain.
Photo Jussi Helimäki.