Page last updated at 11:08 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Caledonian pine branding mooted

Scots pine logs. Pic: Forestry Commission Scotland
Most Scots pine is grown in northern Scotland

Creating a brand for timber grown in northern Scotland has been suggested as a way of increasing its appeal.

A study for the Forestry Commission Scotland found there was potential to raise the use and sales of Scots pine.

The report said one way of doing this was labelling timber as Caledonian pine or with the name of the estate where it was grown.

Scots pine is commonly used in the construction industry and for making playground equipment.

'Iconic emblem'

The study by the Centre for Timber Engineering (CTE) at Napier University in Edinburgh said there was potential for branding products.

The final report on the research, written by Ivor Davies, also said controlling bluestain fungus infection in trees and grading in order to select timber with few knots would be needed to add value to the timber.

Highland and Islands and Grampian Regional Forestry forums have welcomed the study's findings.

Priscilla Gordon-Duff, chairwoman of the Grampian forum, said: "The native Scots pinewoods of Deeside and the Cairngorms form an iconic emblem of the woodlands of Grampian.

"Not only do they look beautiful at any time of the year, they are also a valuable timber resources, as this report highlights."

There are about 270,000 acres of Scots pine forest in the Highland and Grampian regions, equivalent to about 80% of all Scots pine forest in Scotland.

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