The Pine of Kronparken

Photo showing the large pinne of Kronparken.
Photo: Anna Ljungqvist

Several Scots pines in this area are impressively 350 years old, but the Pine of Kronparken is probably the most impressive of them all. With a circumference of 5 meters, it is the thickest pine in Uppland.

It is said that Professor Olof Rudbeck the elder, who founded Uppsala’s botanical garden and discovered the human lymphatic system, planted some Scots pine here around year 1680. Regardless of whether this pine is planted or self-sown it has managed to stay here for hundreds of years, partly because the Swedish king Gustav III protected parts of the stand from felling in the 18th century.

Wider than most

  • Height: 35 m
  • Diameter: 1,6 m
  • Circumference: 5 m
  • Above-ground biomass: 3,4 metric tons
  • Below-ground biomass: 1,0 metric tons
  • Total biomass: 4,3 metric tons
  • Carbon stored in stem and branches: 1,7 metric tons, which corresponds to 6,1 tons of
  • carbon dioxide

The Pine of Kronparken is 35 meters high, but even though that is very high for a Scots pine it is not the only one with that height in this area. Kronparken is home to several Scots pines around 35 meters, and numerous Norway spruces reaching 40 meters in height. It is the only one however, not only in Kronparken but in the whole province of Uppland, to be 1,6 meters wide, with a circumference of 5 meters.

Pines have deep root systems, and the Pine of Kronparken weighs around 1 ton. Together with the stem, branches and needles, its mass sums up to 4,3 tons.

Carl Linnaeus in Kronparken

The Scots pine, with the scientific name Pinus sylvestris, was actually named and described by Carl Linnaeus right here in Kronparken in the 18th century. Just like spruces and other conifers, pines are gymnosperms. Among else, that means the seeds of the plant are positioned between scales on cones rather than being enclosed in fruits.

The second most common tree

Scots pine is the only naturally occurring species of the genus Pinus in Sweden, even though other species like lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and bog pine (Pinus mugo) are cultivated as forest trees and to mitigate erosion.

Pinus sylvestris is the second most common tree in Sweden and it is found all over the country as well as in large parts of Europe and Asia, from Spain and Great Britain in the west all the way to the east coast of Russia. It is well suited for dry and coarse soils. In fertile soils it is often outcompeted by Norway spruce.

For how long have Scots pine grown here?

Close up of stem and bark on the pine in Kronparken.
Photo: Hanna Danko

About 10.000–12.000 years ago, the Scots pine started to spread in the Swedish mountains, making it one of the earliest trees to establish in our country. At that time, Uppsala was still covered by water after being pushed down by the massive ice for thousands of years.

Perhaps the Scots pine came here to Kronparken shortly after the ground in this part of Uppsala started rising from the sea, about 4.000 years ago.

Wood and tar

The wood of the Scots pine is highly sought-after as building material since it, among else, is easy to process. Another area of use is the production of pine tar, which used to be an important export product for Sweden. Different compounds in the resin inside the pine turns into tar when the material is heated up and put under pressure. In the living tree, these compounds serve as a defence against fungi and insects.

Last modified: 2023-04-12