Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) invading a floating bog (Wybunbury Moss National Nature Reserve, Cheshire, UK) was studied. Seed germination, establishment and tolerance to waterlogging were investigated. Vegetation type and topography were the most important factors dictating germination and seedling success. Six microhabitats of Sphagnum, Sphagnum-Ericaceae, Sphagnum-Cyperaceae, Ericaceae, Cyperaceae and bare peat formed 8, 15, 33, 17, 26 and 1%, respectively, of the central bog area. Germination was highest on Sphagnum-containing microhabitats. Seedling survival in each microhabitat was 2.1, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 1.9 and 0.5%, respectively. Pinus sylvestris seedlings have the capability to germinate and establish on the central bog at Wybunbury if they have a sufficient time of favourably unwaterlogged conditions in the first phases of germination.