Scots pine - our only native pine tree


Scots pine - our only native pine tree

The Scots pine is one of only three native conifers in Britain, and our only native pine. Found all over the UK, this long-lived and majestic tree is important to wildlife. It has earnt its name for being particularly abundant in the Caledonian pine forest in the Scottish Highlands and the lynch-pin of that habitat.

The Caledonian forest is a priority habitat under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and is home to rare species such as the creeping lady’s tresses and lesser twayblade orchids; the Scottish wood ant and Rannoch looper; and the capercaillie, crested tit and Scottish crossbill. Mammals include red squirrel, pine marten and Scottish wildcat.

In 2014, the Scots pine was voted the national tree of Scotland. The tree is readily identified by its distinctive shape, blue-green leaves and orange-red bark.

Scots pine timber is one of the strongest softwoods available and is widely used in the construction industry and in joinery. A familiar application is the manufacture of telegraph poles, pit props, gate posts and fencing. The tree can also be tapped for resin to make turpentine.

The tree is native to Eurasia, and can also be found from Western Europe to Siberia.

Further reading

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