Scots Pine (SPC)
Pinus sylvestris Scotica
Scots Pine has a natural range across the Northern Europe, but is known in Scotland as the predominant species of the ancient Caledonian pine forests. At Alba, we collect seed from these stands so that the Scotland can be repopulated with these ancient forests.
Scots pine is very hardy and although it naturally grows at relatively low elevations in the east, it is well suited to the climate throughout northern Scotland. It prefers non-calcareous soils and grows best in light soils with good drainage. Scots pine can grow in heavier soils including peat, but not to timber quality standard. The trees are light demanding, forming a flat, spreading crown annd losing its lower branches with age to reveal a distinctive red bark. Given good conditions, Scots Pine can grow to 120ft (36m).
Dothistroma Needle Blight
In recent years, Scots pine has been badly affected by Dothistroma Needle Blight disease. This can form needle discolouration and a significant slowing of growth, almost to the point of stand-still. Diagnosis of DNB can be tricky as many other factors can cause temporary or permanent discolouration, so Forest Research has produced this useful field guide to help with identification and it also gives details on where to send samples for diagnosis. Alba Trees is inspected each year for DNB by the Forestry Commission and the Department of Agriculture and we have been found not to have the disease on our nursery.