Rothiemurchus Christmas Trees –
an environmentally friendly alternative to farmed Christmas trees
Rothiemurchus is the custodian of one of the finest remnants of the Caledonian forest. This natural woodland dominated by majestic Scots Pine is managed sustainably for nature conservation, recreation, woodland grazing and timber production as described in our forest plan. Some areas have been consistently wooded since the last ice-age, 8,000 years ago, with one generation of trees succeeding another by natural regeneration. The Rothiemurchus forest is now enjoyed by 350,000 visitors a year and is home to some of Scotland’s rarest wildlife including the iconic capercaillie, pine marten, Scottish wildcat, and crested tit.
Mature Scots Pines can be 300 to 400 years old and are known as ‘granny pines’. These venerable trees release billions of seeds annually, many are consumed by a myriad of creatures including red squirrels and Scottish crossbills, but those that reach the soil and find the right conditions germinate and grow. Ideal growing conditions are found in forest openings where the ground has been disturbed. This might occur naturally when a tree finally dies of old age or if a stand of trees is blown over by a storm or harvested. These conditions also occur alongside paths throughout the forest. At first, the growth of pine seedlings is slow, just a few centimeters a year, but this accelerates and by the time the seedlings are ten years old they are over 2 meters tall and growing more than 30 centimeters a year. Paths and viewing points can quickly become overgrown and enclosed by dense walls of pines, so these opportunistic trees need to be felled. Some are left on the ground, providing important habitat for fungi, insects, small birds and mammals, but every year there are surplus young Scots Pine trees that must be removed and we’d like to see them put to good use.
Scots Pine is beautifully scented, non-prickly and has excellent needle retention, making these wild native trees an environmentally friendly alternative to the usual farmed Christmas trees. This year the Rothiemurchus Ranger service will be making 2m high scots pine Christmas trees available for collection from the Rothiemurchus Farm Shop on 5 December, 12th December and 19th December. Offering a truly sustainable Christmas tree for your Highland festivities. We want to ensure that all trees harvested have a home so please reserve your tree by clicking here. By purchasing one of these trees you will be guaranteed a sustainable and unique Christmas centrepiece with some real heritage, whilst directly supporting our efforts to conserve the forest and its inhabitants for future generations.
This winter the Ranger service, with sufficient funds, aims to repair a 300m section of path along the Lochan Mor route. All profits from the sale of Wild Scots Pine Christmas trees will be used to support this project.
Please follow this link to reserve your Rothiemurchus Scots Pine Christmas tree – please note that collection will be on Saturday 5th, Saturday 12th & Saturday 19th December 2020 from Rothiemurchus and all trees must be paid for at the time of reservation.
Rothiemurchus – loved by generations, cared for by you