I was watching the Scottish news on the TV one evening last week when an article came on about the fact that Scotland doesn’t have a national tree. It had never occurred to me that we were missing a trick there, after all we always think of England’s tree as being the oak, I think America has the giant redwood as its national tree, for Canada it’s obviously the maple. Is it eucalyptus for Australia? Lebanon has the cedar and off the top of my head I can’t think of any others.
The chap who was speaking about it wants the Scots Pine to fit the bill and I must say I did totally agree with him at the time, after all they are beautiful so it would be a great emblem for us. They give shelter and sustenance to our native red squirrels and pine martens, and lots of other beasties too I’m sure.
Then I thought about it and it seemed to me that it would be a shame not to have the rowan tree (mountain ash) as an emblem of Scotland too. So, from having no Scottish national tree I think we should go the whole hog and have two, one evergreen and one deciduous, and I can’t think of any other trees which would represent Scotland so well.
I always think of rowans as being particularly Scottish, and they’re steeped in Celtic mythology. If a garden of mine didn’t have one when I moved into it, it was never long before I planted one, to keep the witches away, and provide food for the birds.
You can have a look at a BBC report on the subject here.
Apparently there are 70 countries in the world which have trees as symbols, at the moment I’d be hard pushed to name 70 countries, never mind their trees!
You can have a look at Scots pine images here.
And rowan tree images are here.
If you want to know a bit more about the mythology and folklore surrounding the rowan have a look here.