Larch was introduced to the Highlands of Scotland by the Duke of Atholl in 1727 who planted them in their millions throughout his estate.
As it proved to be a durable, rot -proof timber the Duke suggested to the Royal Navy that it could be suitable for building ships as there was a shortage of oak after the Napoleonic Wars.
A consignment of his larch was used in 1816 to build HMS Atholl. The experiment successfully proved the longevity of the larch as HMS Atholl continued in service for many years, finishing up as a receiving ship in Greenock in 1860 before finally being scrapped in 1862.
By the mid 1800’s the world had moved on and ships were being made of iron and steel, so the need for shipbuilding timber had passed.
Today, the majority of our larch that we process is used for cladding, outbuildings and fencing, but we do supply a local retired gentleman who lovingly builds rowing boats from our larch.