The classic Glen Affric tree, Scots pine, is actually the most widespread conifer on Earth: you can find it growing from Siberia to southern Spain. Young trees taper to a point like other conifers, but adults can develop many branches. Very old, fantastically twisted trees are called granny pines.
They adapt well to different conditions, but do best on drier soil without too much peat: this is probably why they have survived so well in Affric. Many of Scotland’s peat bogs were once covered by forest, and it’s common to find stumps of trees that grew over 5,000 years ago.
You may well see sticky amber beads of resin oozing from the trunks: the wood is so impregnated with resin that it takes a long time to rot.
A long life
Scots pine typically live for 250 – 300 years. The seeds need good light to germinate, so the pattern of forest cover tends to shift and change naturally as seedlings colonise clearings and bare ground.
You can find more about this beautiful tree on the Trees for Life website. See: www.treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.scpine.html