Scots Pine on High Close tree trail

Scots Pine

This conifer species is native to the UK, colonising after the last glaciers melted from the mountains here around 10,000 years ago.

Latin name

Pinus sylvestris

Facts about the Scots Pine

Growing to around 35m in height, it’s found mainly on poorer soils, rocky terrain and on peat bogs. Scots pine forms much of the remaining Caledonian Forest, though only around 1% of the original 1.5million hectares of this ancient forest still survives. Most of the loss was due to over-cutting for timber, sheep and deer grazing and fire. Projects have been replanting areas of the Scottish countryside to restore this hugely important habitat, which support capercaillie, osprey, wildcats and pine martens.

The short needles are a blue-green colour and the bark is orange-brown and flaky. Mature trees have a distinctive straight, bare trunk topped by a mass of foliage. Typically they have a lifespan of 150-300 years, but the oldest recorded specimen is 760 years old, found in northern Finland.