Scots pine is the native pine tree in Scotland and has been widely planted elsewhere in the UK, too. During the medieval period, a great pine forest stretched across most of the Highlands, but by the 17th century it was disappearing as timber was used for ship-building and charcoal. Although the late 20th century saw just a fraction of the original forest left standing, regeneration has now started to occur, especially in areas fenced off from browsing deer.
Scots pine is a tall, straight pine tree with distinctive orange-brown scaly bark. Its blue-green needles appear in pairs and can be up to 7cm long. Male cones are yellow and female cones are green, maturing to grey-brown.
- Height: up to 40m
- Pine cone length: 3-7.5cm
Numbers of this tree are recovering in Scotland.
Native in the Highlands of Scotland, but widely planted elsewhere.
When to see
January – December
- Scots pine plays host to a whole range of species, from stump lichens and Scottish wood ants that live on and under the bark, to majestic ospreys and golden eagles that nest in its level branches.