Trees in the Balmaha Woodland

The woodland behind Balmaha on the banks of Loch Lomond lie on the Highland Boundary Fault, which is a fascinating geological feature that divides the Highlands from the Lowlands. Because of the way the forest has been managed over the centuries the land is broken up into dozens of small clumps of different types of trees. This gives it a distinctive character and also its biodiversity. There are at least 19 different species of trees on the land, and a large variety of plants below the canopy, which provide a rich habitat for vertebrates and invertebrates, thus extending its biodiversity.

To quote Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy (1817): “The lofty peak of Ben Lomond, here the predominant monarch of the mountains, lay on our right hand, and served as a striking landmark. I was not awakened from my apathy, until, after a long and toilsome walk, we emerged through a pass in the hills, and Loch Lomond opened before us. I will spare you the attempt to describe what you would hardly comprehend without going to see it. But certainly this noble lake, boasting innumerable beautiful islands, of every varying form and outline which fancy can frame,—its northern extremity narrowing until it is lost among dusky and retreating mountains,—while, gradually widening as it extends to the southward, it spreads its base around the indentures and promontories of a fair and fertile land, affords one of the most surprising, beautiful, and sublime spectacles in nature. The eastern side, peculiarly rough and rugged, was at this time the chief seat of MacGregor and his clan,—to curb whom, a small garrison had been stationed in a central position betwixt Loch Lomond and another lake. The extreme strength of the country, however, with the numerous passes, marshes, caverns, and other places of concealment or defence, made the establishment of this little fort seem rather an acknowledgement of the danger, than an effectual means of securing against it.

Plantation Trees

  • Douglas Fir                    Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • European Larch            Larix decidua
  • Japanese Larch             Larix koemoferi
  • Norway Spruce             Picea abies
  • Scots Pine                      Pinus sylvestris
  • Sitka Spruce                  Picea sitchensis

Native and Other Trees

  • Alder                              Alnus glutinosa
  • Ash                                 Fraxinus excelsior
  • Beech                             Fagus sylvatica
  • Birch                               Betula spp
  • Crabapple                      Malus sylvestris
  • Elder                               Sambucus nigra
  • Hazel                              Corylus avellana
  • Holly                               Ilex aquifolium
  • Horse Chestnut          Aesculus hippocastanum
  • Oak                                 Quercus spp
  • Rowan                            Sorbus aucuparia
  • Willow                           Salix alba
  • Yew                                Taxus baccata