Scotland's Native Trees and Shrubs
Considering alternative species and indeed, alternative ways to achieve design objectives, is an integral part of Scottish Executive landscape design and management policy. Often it is not until alternatives have been investigated that there is a more appropriate species for a particular design. How often, in the past, has Italian alder ( Alnus cordata) or Norwegian grey alder ( Alnus incana) been planted when our native alder ( Alnus glutinosa) would have been better? How often have cultivated varieties of poplar such as populus robusta or the balsam poplar clone been planted when our native aspen ( Populus tremula) would have been as good? Repetitive formula driven designs or standard 'off the peg' solutions may be convenient to specify but may not always provide the most imaginative results when applied in specific situations. Good design requires this little extra attention to detail. The rewards follow in the shape of personal satisfaction, genuine biodiversity enhancement and infectious enthusiasm to learn more about our native trees.
Aspen brightening up a dull day in the Highlands. Single trees quickly form into natural clumps by producing a mass of root suckers. Despite this generous characteristic contributing to sustainable development aspen is a neglected species and deserves to be planted more frequently.