Ms McAlpine gained cross-party support for the debate after a petition was lodged in the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee, pressing the case for Scots pine.
Form One pupils from the Compass School, Haddington, joined the SNP MSP at Butterdean Wood in East Lothian to plant young Scots pines and learn about the forest. The planting was arranged and facilitated by the Woodland Trust, who have been very supportive of the petition.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“Declaring a national tree is a fantastic way to encourage children to think about the environment and today proved that.
“The children from the Compass School had a great time planting their saplings, and now they will be inspired to come back to Butterdean to watch them grow.
“I think it would be very fitting to declare a national tree this year, the Year of Natural Scotland.”