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Augustine Henry Forestry Lecture

Is Scots pine a native species?

This event will accrue 15 CPD points

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Speaker: Dr Jenni Roche, Dublin City Council.

To those with an interest in Ireland’s native trees, the history of Scots pine is intriguing. We know from fossil pollen records that it was one of the first tree species to colonise Ireland after the most recent Ice Age. It became widespread, and dominated certain habitats, until about 5,000 years ago when it underwent a massive decline. The pine stumps frequently excavated from our bogs are evidence of its former abundance. The last known specimen of native Scots pine in Ireland was dated to AD 400. Scots pine is widely believed to have become extinct in Ireland at that point. By the eighteenth century, it had been reintroduced using nonnative stock and was widely planted. The species is now widespread in the Irish landscape once more. Yet the question remains open; did native Scots pine survive in some unknown refuge?

Dr Roche completed a PhD on the ecology and native status of Scots pine in Ireland at the Department of Botany, Trinity College. In this lecture she will outline the findings of this and other new research on Scots pine which has significant implications for the status of this species in Ireland.