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MSPs approve Scots pine as national tree

MSPs have given their backing to the Scots pine being declared the national tree of Scotland.

Holyrood unanimously agreed a motion hailing the move as a "fitting legacy" for the Year of Natural Scotland, which ran throughout 2013.

Environment minister Paul Wheelhouse revealed plans were in place to have a national tree week and to set up a special fund to help promote Scotland's national tree.

It comes after 52% of the people who responded to a public consultation on the issue said the Scots pine should be the country's national tree.

Mr Wheelhouse said the tree had been the "clear winner" in the consultation, which had been run by Forestry Commission Scotland.

He told Holyrood: "To help promote the national tree, I can announce I have asked Forestry Commission Scotland to make provisions for a new seedcorn fund for innovative projects and also to create a national tree week."

The minister said having a national tree was a "clear symbol of our affinity with Scotland's trees, woods and forests, and their importance to us all".

He said there were a quarter of a billion Scots pine trees in Scotland, which were home to some of the country's "most iconic species" such as pine martins and red squirrels.

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