The pines (Pinus) are one of the dominant genera in the northern hemisphere, including more species than any of the other conifers and having the most widespread range of all the tree genera. Even when the deciduous species are included, only the oaks come close.
In Finland and throughout huge area of Eurasia, the Scots pine is an important timber species. In forestry, it is grown fairly densely when young so that below the crown a straight, long and almost branchless trunk develops. In gardens and other open areas the species develops a broad crown and thick branches. Wind-swept specimens growing on almost bare rock are particularly picturesque and must be the most popular tree subjects in Finnish paintings.
Many unusual forms have been found in the wild, though not as many as spruce. Golden pine, snake pine, broom pine, and knobbly pine are just some of the names given to these special forms.
At Mustila the Scots pine has played an important role since the very beginning. Well over a century old now, these tall trees with their enormous crowns provide a protected micro-climate for many tender species, shading them from the parching spring sun but allowing enough light through in summer; the pines root deeply, leaving the surface soil for the smaller species.