Follow VisitScotland

Scotland’s first Tree Festival takes root

Press Release   •   Sep 28, 2018 07:30 BST

Dawyck Botanic Garden is one of the attractions taking part in the Scottish Tree Festival

The wonderfully diverse world of trees is about to be celebrated for the first time, as the inaugural Scottish Tree Festival launches this month.

Organised by national garden tourism group Discover Scottish Gardens and supported by VisitScotland, the Festival will run from 29 September to 2 December. Over 70 tree events will take place across the country showcasing beautiful, unusual, heritage, exotic and champion trees, as gardens and woodlands  put their best branch forward in celebration of the nation's best trees.

Culminating in the UK's National Tree Week (24 Nov- 2 Dec), the Festival aims to encourage local audiences and tourists to get outdoors and discover Scotland’s wonderful gardens and woodlands and celebrate the country’s tremendous trees. In its first year, it has inspired participation from the National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, as well as individual garden owners, nurseries and tree-related activity organisers.

The Living Collection at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh includes some of the finest trees in Scotland including Benmore’s avenue of 150-year-old giant redwoods and Dawyck’s historic Douglas firs. Planted in 1835, they were grown from original seed sent home by the famous plant hunter David Douglas. Logan’s unusual ‘Filo Pastry Tree’, a specimen of Polylepsis australis, has recently reached the finals of the Scottish Tree of the Year*. This genus grows at a higher altitude than any other woody tree on the planet.

Donald Rodger, Scotland’s renowned arboricultural consultant, said:Trees play a vital role in all of our lives, providing numerous health benefits as well as a sense of time and space. Scotland is fortunate in having a diverse and rich heritage of trees of all shapes and sizes, and which provide year-round interest in our gardens, parks and the wider countryside. Yet they are often overlooked or merely taken for granted. This new Festival will provide a superb opportunity to raise awareness of the value of trees and the indispensable role they play in our landscape, as well as encouraging members of the public to actively engage with them across a varied programme of events.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Autumn is often one of the most beautiful times of the year to enjoy the Scottish outdoors as landscapes transform from rich greens to glowing oranges and reds. It is no wonder that our natural heritage remains one of the main reasons people visit Scotland.

“This fantastic new Festival provides a welcome boost for attractions and will help extend the tourism season beyond the busier summer months. It will also help raise awareness of Scotland’s most stunning trees, gardens and estates. We are delighted to be working again with Discover Scottish Gardens, showcasing the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of regions across Scotland.”

For more information and events listings, please visit:

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • Health and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • Equality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • Enterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • Culture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.