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Native Tree


Péine albanach

Pinus sylvestris



Originally a native tree. Pollen found in soil samples from bogs indicates that Scots pine was widespread in Ireland thousands of years ago.
Human impact and the gradual change to a warmer, wetter climate led to its decline, and it may even have died out completely.

Pine stumps have been found in bogs, standing where they grew, 7,000 years ago, before the formation of the peat. Most of the pines around the countryside now were imported from Scotland and planted over the last 150 years.

Efforts have been made to reintroduce this once native species as in some situations it is fitting that Scots pine be encouraged. It can be grown on marginal land where other species of tree would not survive. It also matures quicker and produces more versatile wood than broadleaf trees.

Even though it is a coniferous tree, it nonetheless supports a wide variety of wildlife as habitat diversity changes in line with canopy closure.

Our native red squirrel prefers the seeds of this tree than any other.


It is possible to grow pine from seed - the seeds are small with a single wing and fall easily from between the sections of ripe pinecones. Only collect cones in forests if you are sure they are Scots pine - most commercially grown conifers are not native species.


Store seed dry in the fridge in a sealed polythene bag. Mix with sand mixture for stratification one month before you wish to sow in the spring and return to the fridge to stratify for one month.


Sow in fine soil, covering the seeds lightly. These must be kept damp but pine seedlings do not like to be waterlogged.

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