mar a thuirt an giuthas,
tha mi nam chrann,
mar a thuirt an giuthas,
a bhein mar sheol,
strac an urlair fodham,
chan eil dol nas fhaide

mar a thuirt an giuthas,
tha mi nam shoidheach
mar a thuirt an giuthas,
mo roiseid mar riamh, do sgamhan
fo throm nam cheathach sguraidh

ged is mise, ars an giuthas
righ na coille, craobh nan laoch,
an t-anam nach treig, dean
sioman as mo fhriamhach,
taod dha do chabhlachd, faic
mo lubadh ris a ghaillionn


what the pine
said i am a mast,
what the pine said,
the ben's a sail,
the earth below's my deck,
i have no need to travel

what the pine said,
i am a vessel what the pine said,
like resin, like oars,
for constricted lungs
i'm a cleansing fog

though I be, said the pine,
the forest's king, hero tree,
the immortal soul, plait
a cable from my roots to
make fast your navies, see
how I bend to the storm


Ailm/ pine

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The Survivor

Pine is one of the most versatile and resilient of trees. At home in dry sands or moist bogs, in stormy coastlines or pastoral valleys, or even in intense cold or hot plain, this remarkable tree survives in most climates and often on very poor ground.


Easily distinguished by the red bark in its upper branches and the 'salmon-pink' of interlocking patterns of flaking plates in the grey blues and oranges of its trunk

The pioneer

Like birch, it needs close symbiosis with fungi to provide itself with the minerals to survive. This symbiosis is reflected in where it lives, since pines vary enormously in shape. Generally, mature pines have irregular, undulating layers of branches with the top crown umbrella-like balancing the lower half of the trunk, which will be largely free of branches

Light seeker

However, although a tough tree, pine needs a lot of light. There are roughly a hundred species of pine, some growing at altitudes of 7,000 feet (Alps), yet in Britain pine is most typically found with birch and willow, two other pioneer trees.

Long lived cones

Individual roots can reach far. Needles vary in number considerably, although Scots pine has long, paired, blue-green needles that remain on the twig for two to three years. Sexually mature at thirty years, pine carries male and female flowers on the same tree.

Small, globular cones, yellow with pollen that is released in Spring, signifies the male flower, while female cones are distinguished by being pink and purple and at the end of the shoots. The female flowers develop into woody pine cones and in their second year produce the seeds, although the cone itself may often remain on the tree long after the seeds have fallen out.

Ailm/ pine

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