A RARE conifer has been planted as a living memorial to one of Scotland's first ever female foresters who died suddenly last year.

Rena Tarwinska retired in 2012 after 33 years with the Forestry Commission Scotland. Her sister, Wanda Drysdale, planted the rare and endangered Serbian spruce in one of Rena's favourite forests, Craigvinean near Dunkeld.

The Serbian spruce will be the final tree in a grove planted from seeds collected from remnant populations in the Balkans, where the species is threatened with extinction.

Following Ms Tarwinska's death, Ms Drysdale donated £1,000 in her sister's memory to The iCONic Project, a Perthshire Big Tree Country initiative dedicated to helping save some of the world's most threatened conifers.

Charlie Taylor, Forest District Manager and Chair of the iCONic Steering Group, said:"Many of us at Forestry Commission Scotland have fond memories of Rena and we were very touched by the donation. Planting this rare tree seems a fitting way to remember Rena - a beautiful tree, in a forest that she loved."

Ms Drysdale added: "Although Rena worked in a few different areas, her heart was very much in Dunkeld, so this rare spruce is being planted somewhere that was very special to her."