This study evaluates the possibility of using autumn coloration of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings as an indicator of adaptation to harsh climate conditions. One-year old seedlings from natural stands with different origins and seed orchards were classified as “red/reddish” and “green” based on the needle color after artificially increased night length in nursery and then measured after 14 years in field trials. In almost all the studied groups seedlings classified as “red/reddish” had significantly higher survival rate than seedlings classified as “green”. The survival of “red/reddish” was 14.2% higher than “green” among natural stand seed material and 56.2% among seed orchard material. During the study period the survival difference between “red/reddish” and “green” seedlings tended to increase. The seedling color had limited connection with the height growth, even though the trees classified as “red/reddish” were slightly taller than those classified as “green”. However, the total productivity over all field trials, described here as a heightsum, of “red/reddish” trees was 15% higher than productivity of “green” trees from natural stand material, and 61% higher than those from seed orchard material. It seems that controlled selection based on autumn color can be utilized within seed crops of different types with the aim to increase the adaptability of seed material to different environmental conditions.