Why is Scotland so treeless?explained in details

With global warming reminding the world via various means that we need to protect the environment, tons of environmental activists clamor for the need to plant trees as part of preserving and protecting mother earth.

However, it would seem that a typical environmental activist might get a nervous breakdown when they set foot in Scotland because there are no trees in the country.

Of course, this sudden environmental state of Scotland didn’t just happen; it took several decisions, actions, and in-actions for the country to currently reach the current tree devoid that it currently is in.Why is Scotland so treeless?explained in details

If you’re as curious as we were about what turned the country into a treeless one, you should stick with us till the end. We’ll fill you in on all the juicy details that drove Scotland into becoming the land of no trees. Buckle your seat belt, and let’s dive in.

Why is Scotland so treeless?

Okay, so let’s back up a bit. Scotland isn’t exactly treeless. We are certain that when you take a walk through the beautiful country, you’ll most likely come across one or two trees.

In essence, Scotland still has trees. But, the trees are not as many as they ought to be, and there are reasons for it. For starters, climate change is a major enemy of Scotland responsible for the country becoming a treeless one.

There’s also the desire to keep owning resources and many animals like sheep that threaten the peaceful growth of trees in the country.

Here’s how animals contributed to the decline of trees in Scotland. With the need for grazing increasing, farmers who plowed the land thought it wise to burn down forests, take down trees, etc.

Feed their sheep and animals. Although this happened as far back as 5900 years ago, it is part of what set Scotland on the course that turned them into a treeless country. Then, there was climate change that worsened the situation.

Was Scotland originally forested?

Yes, Scotland was originally forested. The Scotland you see now used to be covered in the thickest forest of all. There were mostly scots, pine, and ancient oaks.

There were dozens of uncountable trees all through Scotland. The forest was so deep that Gaelic folktales housed so many stories of forests and trees.

When it came to the Gaelic alphabets, there was always a plant used to represent each letter. In fact, some of the names of places that exist in Scotland were adopted from the names of trees that existed in forested Scotland.

These place names include Aikenhead, inspired by the oak tree, Crieff, inspired from “tree place,” and Birkenshaw that stems from Birchwood.

You can already tell that the previously Scotland forest had some influence on modern-day Scotland. If you notice, one of the best images of Scotland or that of a beautiful building or a bridge. It is a picture that captures what ancient forested Scotland looked like; a picture of open hills and grasses.

Was Scotland once covered in trees?

Yes, it was once covered in trees, and that was because Scotland had fertile grounds that were great for planting and the growth of trees.

Before farming and climatic change set in, Scotland had some of the richest and largest woodlands in the world. It was so rich and full of fantastic resources. The woodlands kept on expanding and naturally flourishing all through 6000 years ago.

Grasslands were abundant, a mosaic of trees, scrubs, and bags. All of these were at your disposal in ancient Scotland. The trees and woodland covered Scotland thickly and densely that wolves lived in this country. They made it their home because of how dense the woodlands were.

You’d also find boars, giant wild cattle, bears, and an abundance of various bird species. They were all present in Scotland; they made it their home because of the trees and the thick forest.

But this natural beauty was once upon a time in Scotland. The country now looks as though it had never grown a forest before.

Why are so many trees being cut down in Scotland?

The beginning of Scotland’s deforestation started with the cutting down of trees for wind farms. About 7 to 14 million trees have been cut down endlessly to build the wind farm in Scotland.

This wind farm project started in 2000. Since then, different forests in Scotland have been destroyed to erect more wind farms for technology. Different parts of Scotland have witnessed deforestation, and they have different estimates of the number of trees being cut down in the process.

In Grampian, about 816,000 trees were destroyed, and three wind farms took their place. That Grampian figure is nothing compared to the estimated trees that the islands and highlands have lost. An estimate puts the tress lost at 2.3 million.

That is, 2.3 million trees were sacrificed to develop three other wind farms on the islands and highlands. The place in Scotland with the highest loss of trees is Argle and Bute. It loses 3.5 million trees for the birth of 6 wind farms.

Are there any Highlanders left in Scotland?

While there are still highlands in Scotland, there aren’t that many highlanders in Scotland. However, it isn’t what it used to be in ancient times.

The Gaelic people lived in the highlands until they were forcefully evicted due to war and people seeking to convert the highlands into grazing fields for their sheep and other animals.

These highlanders were not just forced out of the highlands; they had to relocate to other countries like the US, Canada, etc.

For a better life. Although the highlands still exists, most of it must have been turned into wind farms as the Highlands and slands were deforested to set up wind farms.

What is Scottish timber used for?

Worth over 1billion euros, the Scottish forestry and timber industry manages all the affairs related to processing timber and other woods.

The industry deploys timber in developing high-value products like engineered wood products, especially engineered timber products.

The industry also ensures that enough timber is supplied to aid and strengthen construction projects. Furthermore, Scottish timber plays a major role in house construction, bio-fuel, paper, and fencing.


While the deforestation of Scotland seems wicked against nature, we can’t deny that it has had a major role in the advancement of the country at large.

The timber that the government gets from deforestation positively impacts the country’s economy, but the negative impact it has on our ecosystem calls for concern.

Nevertheless, the government seems to be on the verge of planning how to plant more trees so that civilization would thrive alongside mother earth and prevent civilization from being the death of the earth.



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