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What is the image you have in your mind when you think of Scotland and the highlands and the trees and lochs?

It may not surprise you that Scotland is dominated by softwood and mainly Sitka Spruce and Scots Pine, although other species include Douglas Fir, Larch and Red Cedar. According to the Forestry Commission figures for 2013, Scotland has 1,410 hectares of woodland representing 45% of UK's total woodland and of this area, 75% is softwood.

Interestingly, in 2013 5,300 hectares of hardwood were planted, against just 1,700 hectares of softwood, so in the long term is the balance due to change?

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Our understanding is, not surprisingly, that it is somewhat difficult to source much hardwood in Scotland. Not only is there not much there, but also there are vast distances to travel between forestry and conurbations. We get lots of customers saying that they struggle to source hardwood in Scotland, hence demand is high.

So, don't be surprised if you are struggling to source hardwood in Scotland, although you should be aware that if you are being offered hardwood in nets or indeed wooden crates, the chances are its been imported from Eastern Europe. The other little tell tale sign is if its 100% larch as this is almost definitely from Eastern Europe where large volumes of this species are grown. Incidentally, its not the nets of hardwood that suggest imports, its more if its 100% larch.