Scots pine is the only truly native pine in the UK. It thrives in heathland and is widely planted for timber, but is also found in abundance in the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands.
There is little folklore associated with the Scots pine, although there is some history of spiritual significance, which can be traced back to Celtic times. It is thought that in England, Scots pines were planted around farmsteads as windbreaks, and clusters of pines growing along old droveways helped travellers find out where they were going in inclement weather.
In 2014, a consultation to choose a national tree for Scotland found that the Scots pine was the clear favourite, with more than 52% of all responses opting for the tree. The decision has been widely seen as important recognition for the country’s trees and woodland which face increasing threats from climate change, pests and diseases.
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