Less than 2% of the original Caledonian pinewood survive, much of it in scattered fragments.
The Scots pine is the only tree named after Scotland, and only grows naturally in the Scottish Highlands, where it is the largest and longest-lived tree in the Caledonian forest. This remarkable tree forms the “backbone” of the forest ecosystem on which many other species depend. The habitat is globally unique, and one of the richest in Scotland, home to some of Scotland’s most iconic wildlife – including capercaillie, crested tit, red squirrel and wildcat
The Scots pine can live for at least 500 years, with those more than three centuries old being known as “Granny pines”. Such ancient trees are very different from the tall, straight Scots pine you might see in a plantation where they are grown for timber – they have many branches, and often lots of dead wood which supports rare insects and other creatures.
The Scots pine is a national symbol
New figures have shown that Scotland is leading the way when it comes to tree planting in the UK.
In 2022/23, nearly 13,000 hectares of new woodland were created in the UK – with Scotland accounting for 8,200 worth of this. Scotland now consists of over 1,490,000 hectares of woodland area.
The SNP Government has taken a number of steps to help meet Scotland’s ambitious target of planting 36 million new trees each year - including the introduction of a £150 million fund to support planting targets and tree nurseries.
The SNP has welcomed these figures and highlighted the important role forests play in our climate change ambitions.
Commenting, SNP MSP Stuart McMillan said:
“Scotland’s forests absorb almost 10% of our gross greenhouse gas emissions – they play a vital role in our journey towards meeting our ambitious climate targets.
“Climate change and nature loss are the greatest global threats we face. We can and must start to reverse these threats. Planting more trees, and sustainably managing our forests is one part of the global solution.
“The SNP Government is taking real action to reverse climate change – and we will continue to support any measures which protect our planet.”
Iain Cameron @theiaincameron
Look what happens to tree regeneration when herbivores are absent or properly managed. This splendid photo inadvertently shows a sad-looking mainland background, bereft of trees. The island, in stark contrast, looks alive and thriving. (Loch Shieldaig: credit Steve Carter)
Big oil ‘fully owned the villain role’ in 2023, the hottest year ever recorded. They ‘took the mask off’ as they reneged on climate pledges and doubled down on expansion of planet-heating energy. Fossil fuel companies only care about profits, not climate.
UK consumption of products such as soya, cocoa, palm oil, beef and leather is having an “unsustainable” impact on the world, and contributing particularly highly to deforestation, which contributes 11% of global carbon emissions.
"Could 2024 be the year nature rights enter the political mainstream?" “We are trying to convince people the forest is a living being. Non-indigenous humans see nature as something separate from themselves. They forget we are part of nature.” José Gualinga
A good introductory video on winter pruning of fruit trees.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (a Jersey-based international charity) has secured the lease for 18,500-acre Dalnacardoch Estate to be the home of a 100-year rewilding project. It sits entirely within the Cairngorms National Park
Helen Todd @HelenRambler
Very grateful to live close to the North Edinburgh Path Network. I walk there pretty much every single day, it's so important for my #mentalhealth to experience some nature. This was the scene at lunchtime today.
Israel has destroyed at least 800,000 olive trees in the occupied West Bank.
“I hugged the olive tree… I’d raised the tree like my child.” On November 27, 2005, a Palestinian woman was photographed hugging an olive tree after it was attacked by Israeli settlers.
#AlleyCropping - planting rows of trees in fields - can support #pollinators, reduce flooding and #SoilErosion and provide an extra harvest of fruits, nuts or wood products. It's just one type of #Agroforestry that can benefit farms.
UK forests face “catastrophic ecosystem collapse” within the next 50 years due to multiple threats including disease, extreme weather and wildfires. Ash dieback alone will kill up to eight out of 10 ash trees
Scotland has 8% of the UK population but 60% of the trees.
Scotland has 8% of the UK population but 76% of the new tree planting.
It's English forests that are heading for “catastrophic ecosystem collapse” within the next 50 years
Mike Hudema @MikeHudema
Costa Rica, once home to rampant logging, has now almost doubled the size of its rainforest. They turned it all around within a generation. It can be done.
Jadav Payeng, the Indian man who planted one tree every day for 37 years on Majuli Island. He has now created a forest and wildlife reserve twice the size of Central Park in New York.
Alan Watson Featherstone @AlanWatsonFeat1
In Scotland's Caledonian Forest, the rowan tree is vastly outnumbered by birches & it can easily be overlooked. However, in autumn its pinnate leaves turn beautiful & distinctive colours & it can be more readily distinguished from the birches, like these ones in Glen Affric.