FORESTRY and Land Scotland's (FLS) Perthshire team is preparing to establish a new seed stand to conserve Caledonian pine woods, and sustain Scotland's contribution to mitigating the climate emergency in decades to come.

A Scots pine seed stand already exists at Keillour but although this is still producing seeds, the more mature trees require more and more maintenance to sustain their production of pine cones, FLS said.

The new 5-ha stand will contain native Scots pine of Glen Garry and Glen Moriston provenance. The seed that these trees eventually produce will help to meet the demand for more trees as Scotland's woodland creation targets continue to rise.

FLS stewardship manager, Sean Miller, said: “About a year ago we were working on plans to create some new woodland at a site at Newhill, north of Milnathort and in the process of doing that, we reckoned that the site had potential be developed as a new, dedicated seed stand.

"Colleagues from Newton Nursery near Elgin agreed so we amended our plans and now – one year later – we’re ready to go.

"The site will us with ready access to cones so that we will not have to rely on cones being picked from tall trees opportunistically via thinning operations.

"This will be a great benefit in years to come, providing the seeds that we can propagate in our Newton Nursery before we plant them out – either in Glen Garry and Glen Moriston, or wherever there is a pressing need for more Scots pine."

Over the next two years, the area set aside for the seed stand will be planted with a Scots pine variety that is renowned for its ability to tolerate high levels of rainfall, a quality that make it likely to be more amenable to potential changes in climate and weather patterns in years to come.

The seeds will be sown at Newton nursery, grown on into a plantable seedling over two to three years and then planted out in the forest as per the regional plant demand.

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