October 2019

‘The trees were used to plant three native woodlands totalling 502ha in total at Clashindarroch Forest just south of Huntly. The work was carried out in partnership with BP under the Scottish Forestry Alliance, with the objective of creating a woodland that will sequester carbon. The woodlands are now well established and we are looking to start managing them to increase their productive potential while retaining their biodiversity value’. Mark Reeves, Forestry Scotland. Picture shows 10 year old growth in Clashindarroch.

October 2009

During the period 2003-2006 Forest Enterprise planted over 760,000 native trees on farmland at Clashindarroch near Huntly in Grampian region under the Scottish Forest Alliance project funded by BP. These trees were contact grown for us by Alba Trees from locally collected seed.

Establishment has been excellent on this relatively high and exposed site and has exceeded our expectations. There was limited need for beat up caused by plant failure and I found Alba Trees to be a pragmatic and attentive supplier with whom it was a pleasure to work.

Glen Nevis

Neil McKay – Bidwells: “Between March and June 2009 we planted 180,000 trees on a native woodland planting scheme jointly owned by Rio Tinto Alcan Highland Estates and Glen Nevis Estate close to Ben Nevis. These were contract-grown for us by Alba Trees from locally collected seed, mainly Caledonian Pine, Birch, Oak and Willow. We were pleased with the quality of the trees and the service we received and have been delighted by the exceptional establishment success and early growth. With the required protection we believe this will be an exemplary woodland creation in a high profile location.” Picture shows, L to R: Neil McKay, Bidwells; Jim Beattie, Rio Tinto Alcan Highland Estates; Ewen Cameron, Glen Nevis Estate.

Buccleuch – Canonbie

Bob Irvine, Head Forester, Langholm Estate: ” When we used bare root plants it could take up to 5 years to get restock areas up to grant spec. eg to beat weeds, rabbits, hares and weevils. Since we started using Alba’s cell grown plants we can get 100% results in 2 years.” June 2008


Sir Michael Strang-Steel, Philiphaugh Estate : ” I have been delighted with the establishment and rapid growth rate of Sitka Spruce plants supplied by Alba Trees. The weevil protection has been effective and customer care has been of the highest order.” Sir Michael, left, pictured with Woodland Manager Andy Dunsmuir of Tilhill – June 2008

The trees in the picture are fitted with Alba WeeNets which provide a physical barrier against weevil attack. WeeNets offer a non-chemical weevil control measure. In areas likely to suffer high levels of attack we would recommend a light overspray with chemical to discourage persistent weevils. The level of chemical finding its way into the forest is dramatically reduced compared to conventional control reliant upon spray programmes.

Carrifran – Wildwood

Quote from Hugh Chalmers, Wildwood Project Officer, Borders Forest Trust. “At Carrifran Wildwood, birch, hazel, blackthorn and alder trees are now setting seed to form the next generation of trees. This is a particularly pleasing and rewarding stage, as 6 years ago there were almost no trees in the valley, and any tree seedlings were quickly trimmed off by the ubiquitous sheep. These native trees were grown by Alba trees, and over the years a strong bond has formed between Borders Forest Trust and Alba Trees. Key to the whole restoration project is getting the right trees planted, and Alba Trees were the first to implement a rigorous traceability scheme. This ensures that the trees grown from tree seeds picked by Wildwood volunteers from local ancient remnants come back to the Wildwood at Carrifran. Young, healthy saplings are delivered each year in November, and to date over 350,000 birch, ash, oak, rowan, hazel and willows have been planted. Tree establishment by planting is just the first stage in the restoration of the Wildwood at Carrifran. It is the seeds of this planted generation of trees which will form the basis of a native woodland which will become more natural over the decades. Borders Forest Trust are grateful to Alba Trees for being such a dependable partner in this exciting venture.”

Lethen Estate

Lethen Estate, Narin, is owned by Ewan Brodie.

“This native Pinewood scheme was planted on 600 hectares in 1996. The trees were supplied by Alba and the management was done by Bowlts. I am absolutely delighted with the results which speak for themselves. If you are driving up the B9007 from Carrbridge to Nairn you will see the trees on the right just after the Lochindorb turning.”


The first woodland to be planted under the Caledonian Pine Scheme was at Aultguish near Garve in the Scottish Highlands. Alba Trees supplied the plants for 270 Ha which was planted in the late Spring of 1991 with planting continuing until late June. The trees were supplied pre-mixed in proportions approved by the Forestry Commission. This greatly simplified distribution of plants and supervision of planters on site; this has now become a common service we offer to our customers where intimate mixes are being planted.

Over 10 years on, the area is developing good woodland cover and providing shelter for a range of wildlife that previously found the hill ground inhospitable. The future for the native pine on this site now seems secure as the young trees are already producing cones (inset).


Rashielee situated near the Erskine Bridge over the Clyde, is a high profile landscaped site designed by CD Environmental Design Ltd of Paisley.

Roland Vogt, Landscape Architect, said “The picture shows a site we designed near Glasgow taken 3 years after planting. The shelters are 1.2m high which shows the phenomenal growth the young plants from Alba Trees have made. Survival was 100%. This kind of performance gives a designer confidence that his design will be realised with the least possible difficulty”

Atholl Estates

Atholl Estates, Blair Atholl, Perthshire. We have worked closely with Atholl Estates, supplying over 660,000 trees between 1995 and 2001. They have been planted to re-create some large areas of the ancient Caledonian forest in some of the wildest and most exposed terrain in Scotland.

Andrew Barbour, Woods Manager : ” Working with Alba Trees has brought many benefits in terms of absolute reliability and confidence in the traceability of their seed sources. The trees cost a little more than bare-root but the high establishment rates have been excellent in places where beating up would have been a nightmare”.

Picture shows 3 year old Caledonian Pine on Clunes Moor.

Edinburgh City Council

“Since its inception in 1996 the Edinburgh Urban Forest Project ahd planted a total of 250,000 trees covering 100ha of the city. Most of this planting has been undertaken with schools and community groups and we have found that the cell-grown trees supplied by Alba are ideal for this. They are robust, easily handled and planted with a quick establishment period.” Michael Foy, Urban Forestry Officer

Hall Barn

Hall Barn was planted by Wessex Woodland Management of Newbury in 1996. Woodland Manager, David Hunt, says “We always get on well with Alba Trees and appreciate the consistently efficient and friendly service they provide. Their trees certainly ”get up and grow” as shown in our photo of 5-year old Corsican Pine at Beaconsfield”.

Balmoral Estate

Balmoral Estate includes the famous Ballochbuie stand of Caledonian Scots Pine beside the River Dee. We have been privileged to grow on this seed and supply over 65,000 young Pines back to the estate, together with associated broadleaves, to re-create this superb forest.

The picture shows Head Forester, John Dobson, standing among the Ballochbuie Pine.

John recently wrote to us saying “You have seen on your recent visit the excellent survival rates of both Scots Pine and Native Broadleaves you have supplied to us. I was initially concerned that the harsh climatic conditions we have here would make cell-grown plants unsuitable, but this has not been the case. Even the trees we planted a couple of years ago in August as a trial of early autumn planting have done well.

In areas of extremely high conservation importance such as we have in Upper Deeside, which will now be at the heart of the new National park, it can hardly be emphasised too much that we have to be confident of the origins of the trees that we are using. I trust that your careful sourcing and record keeping will continue and ensure that we can continue to have confidence in the planting stock we receive”.

Forest Farm

Forest Farm, Caithness, planted and managed by Bowlts, Inverness. At the time, 1990-91, the largest Caledonian Pine scheme ever undertaken. Alba supplied the plants in different intimate mixes for the different soil types.

John Mackay, Forestry Manager says; “A reputable nursery supplying highest quality containerised stock on time, to specification and without fuss – a totally reliable package”

Photo taken May 2001.

Jim Reilly, SAC

What I found particularly advantageous (with cells) was that one could check the quality of the entire delivery at a glance. There was no sifting through and opening bags, a tedious and time consuming task. More importantly the trees have proved a success with losses lower than normally expected of bare rooted trees, particularly where the soils where shallower and drier.


Cashel, Loch Lomond – The Forest for a Thousand Years, the flagship project of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society, was funded by the Millennium Forest for Scotland Trust. 250ha of native Pine, Oak and other broadleaves were planted between 1996 and 2001 using over 380,000 trees contract-grown from locally collected seed by Alba Trees.

Project manager Felix Karthaus of Border Consultants says: “Establishment at Cashel has been a dream…Cell-grown trees have been especially successful with the Pine and on exposed sites where mounds were crumbled by the frost”.

Photograph shows 4-year old Scots Pine, 1.5m high. This was 20cm high when planted.