Sign up for our newsletter

View our Privacy policy


Explore Autumn’s glory with The Scottish Tree Festival 2020

September 11th 2020

From towering pines to ancient oaks, Scotland is home to remarkable woodland and from 28 September until 1 December the Scottish Tree Festival will be celebrating this living heritage in all its autumn colours.

This year the annual festival, which is organised by Discover Scottish Gardens will shine a light on some of the trees that give Scotland its unique character and which contribute to the environment, shelter wildlife and enhance the wellbeing of those who enjoy them.

And with over 40 live and virtual events planned this autumn, those looking to make the most of a staycation will find lots to enjoy.

It’s a chance to explore some of the country’s great designed landscapes, such as Scone Palace in Perth, where head gardener Brian Cunningham will be leading tours amongst the trees that grow on the estate.

At Hopetoun House on the outskirts of Edinburgh, rangers will take visitors into the past with tours that weave history and folklore and at Blair Castle there will be the chance to discover the legacy of the ‘Planting Dukes of Atholl’, who through the 18th and 19th centuries planted 27 million trees at the very heart of Scotland.

From real life encounters with Rexy, the willow dinosaur at Logan Botanic Garden in Dumfries and Galloway, to both real and virtual tours with trees that boast royal connections at Gordon Castle near Fochabers, events are taking place across Scotland.

And nurseries, including Bennybeg Plant Centre at Crieff; The Plant Market in Dumfermline and Munro’s Nurseries at North Kessock will be offering advice on what to plant, from heritage fruit varieties to trees suitable for small gardens.

From a virtual tour of tree columns at Little Sparta in Dunsyre to fairies in New Hopetoun woods, there’s something for everyone, from art lovers to children.

Giant redwoods await visitors to both Cluny House Garden near Aberfeldy and Benmore Botanic Garden in Argyll, while at Cambo in Fife there will be wood-fired feasts beneath trees festooned with twinkling lights.

The world-renowned arboretum at Dawyck Botanic Garden near Stobo will be in full autumn regalia during the festival, perfect for forest bathing, while in the heart of the capital, many of the trees that grow at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh are just waiting to be hugged.

There will be a chance to encounter Champion Trees on a virtual tour of the woodlands that surround Drummond Castle at Muthill, and at Armadale Castle on Skye and Attadale Gardens in Wester Ross, visitors can see for themselves the effects that the Gulf Stream has on helping to make trees flourish.

Catherine Erskine, Chair, Discover Scottish Gardens, says: “The festival is a celebration of Scotland’s wonderful trees, their contribution to our landscapes and the part they play in our lives.

“This year, more than ever, people are feeling a need to connect more closely with nature and the Festival will give them to chance to do that.”

Tile image © Castle Kennedy Gardens