Having just returned from staying near the Galloway forest I decided to get a quick blog done for a method of telling whether a conifer is a spruce, pine or larch using the needles. Not surprisingly conifer pictures were easy to get.
We start with spruce, the traditional Christmas tree shaped tree. This large swath was taken near an osprey nest on Loch Doon by the way. The rule of thumb here is a Single needle is a Spruce and by that I mean that the needles grow individually out of the branch.
Next up is pine. This is a scots pine, one of only three indigenous conifers and the rule of thumb here is Pairs of needles indicate a Pine. You can see a particularly good example of this lower centre right in the close up.
And finally the larch, which is the only conifer to go dormant in the winter and the rule is Lots of needles for a Larch.
So it's single for a spruce, pairs for a pine and lots for a larch. I'm sure there will be an exception to the rule but it's worked for me so far!