Last month I blogged about a survey to find Scotland’s choice for the national tree. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Scots pine stood out high above the rest with two-thirds of the vote. Rowan, which I should declare as my own personal favourite, came in second place, with one-fifth of the vote. The other trees, in order of votes, were: aspen, birch, oak, Arran whitebeams and others.
We asked people to leave comments to support their choice. In the case of pine the main reasons were its iconic status within the landscape, the charismatic wildlife, including capercaillie, red squirrels and Scottish crossbill that pinewoods support, and the need to halt the decline of the Caledonian forest.
For rowan, the bright red berries and rich folklore appear to be the key to its popularity. If you want to be protected from evil spirits, witches and lightning there’s no better tree to plant!
The results formed our response to campaigner Alex Hamilton’s petition calling for the Scots pine to be made the national tree of Scotland.
Hopefully, as well as bolstering this campaign, which would leave a great legacy for the Year of Natural Scotland, our poll demonstrates a wide range of reasons, ecological, cultural and personal, why people value and care for trees. The word cloud below illustrates the most common words used in people’s comments…
Rory Syme, PR and Communications Officer, Woodland Trust Scotland