Note that the spelling "scotc*" is offensive to people in Scotland, and should NOT be used. The correct spelling is Scots. "Scotc*" is to Scots, as "Ni**er" is to African American, or "J*p" is to Japanese. The only exception to this is for whisky.
Gee, I didn't know that either and I have several Scotc friends. They must figure that we Americans are hopeless because they have never said a word about it. Only think is, how does one pronounce Scotc? I would like to know for future reference.
Suzanne, your article is wonderful as all of yours have been. I think I am deeply drawn to pine landscapes because I have Ponderosa pines in my yard in New Mexico and Slash and Long Leaf pines in my yard in Mississippi. And I also love the mugos for landscaping and the bristlecones as well. Only thing about pines is that one had better be careful to plant the tall ones a long way from the house. I have had personal experience with them falling on my house in Mississippi. They make a big hole!
Problem is, I'm not sure what to do with the comment on 'Scotch'. While I don't have a reference on plant nomenclature handy, Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants lists 'Scotch pine" as the only common name.
A google of the word brought up numerous references to the wiskey, as well as Scotch brand tape and a town with the name "Scotch" in it. Fighting its North American use, since it is now so well rooted in the language, could be futile.
I find a number of names which, I guess, could be regionally offensive. I can't see not using the proper common name of the tree because of a post on a website, although it is interesting to know that it is a regionally offensive slang term in one corner of the world. If anyone ever plans a talk on pines in Edinburgh, keep this in mind!
Both Pinus sylvestris and Pinus nigra are plagued with tip blight problems in the midwest, at least the Ohio valley. It's likely bad here due to constantly high relative humidity which would not be as common in west Texas or, certainly, Colorado. I seldom see Pinus sylvestris in nurseries here except as a Christmas tree.
Probably one of the best performing true pines in this area (Cincinnati), although its use is not yet widespread, is lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana). I know of a growing number of specimens locally, few if any problems, and very good performance. Pinus bungeana 'Rowe Arboretum' was selected from a local planting. The tree is a bit slow growing, but is stunning in all seasons of the year. The one exception can be mid-spring. This year male flowers were heavy, giving the tree a brown appearance for a couple weeks in the spring. A small price to pay!
Pinus strobus suffers locally from deep and improper planting. Root flares are often well below the surface in root balls and this pine is very prone to girdling roots and other problems when not planted correctly. Too often, 50 Pinus strobus are selcted by a builder for a screen, slopped in the ground on a windswept bern with the burlap left on, and then left to fend for themselves. I wonder why the mortality rate is 50% ! Maintenance practices which pile mulch against trunks yield similar results.
Even in better situations, Pinus strobus can run into problems locally if care is not taken in site selection and planting technique. The tree has suffered as well in recent years in a bad ice storm and high winds. That said, the tree gets a bad rap and there are a number of fine specimens locally.
This weekend my husband was in the play "Macbeth" where they used the term "We have scotched the snake" meaning, I guess, that they have hurt the enemy. And the person who gave the cast party was from Scotland. I was really careful not to refer to him as "Scotch". I think calling a tree Scotch should not be so offensive to person of Scottish descent, but what do I know? They are okay with the name of the whiskey, so why not the tree? But I certainly never refer to a person from Scotland by that name ever again.
So true OhioMimi;
You have no idea how much ribbing I got as a kid when all the relatives who immigrated to Hamilton, Ohio "Little Kentucky" came down to visit us hill billys. They and all their kids had picked up the sharp I and made fun of our soft I sounds, jokes about being dumb, or poor, or unshoed, or uneducated, or what ever. I never thought they were serious and always thought they were funny. I figured it was all equal. After all how many times have I referred to the tourist coming down from Ohio to go to Lake Cumberland as the "Ohio Navy". Those buckeyes!
But then recently on TV people were commenting on how Eastern Kentucky would never turn their ecomony around and that they suggested we leave the state. Diana Sawyer (I really like her) said that the poor kids here were not really dumb but were as smart as any body else in the United States.
That worried me. Of course they are, but if she had to say it???? Does that mean that a lot of people in the rest of the United States think we are?
Oh what do I care, I have seen some things in New York, and some other places that I have lived, that make me think they don't have a full load up there either.