The role of forest plantations in biodiversity conservation has gained more attention in recent years. However, most work on evaluating the diversity of forest plantations focuses only on one spatial scale; thus, we examined the effects of sampling scale on diversity in forest plantations. We designed a hierarchical sampling strategy to collect data on woody species diversity in planted pine ( Pinus tabuliformis Carr.), planted larch ( Larix principis-rupprechtii Mayr.), and natural secondary deciduous broadleaf forests in a mountainous region of Beijing, China. Additive diversity partition analysis showed that, compared to natural forests, the planted pine forests had a different woody species diversity partitioning pattern at multi-scales (except the Simpson diversity in the regeneration layer), while the larch plantations did not show multi-scale diversity partitioning patterns that were obviously different from those in the natural secondary broadleaf forest. Compare to the natural secondary broadleaf forests, the effects of planted pine forests on woody species diversity are dependent on the sampling scale and layers selected for analysis. Diversity in the planted larch forest, however, was not significantly different from that in the natural forest for all diversity components at all sampling levels. Our work demonstrated that the species selected for afforestation and the sampling scales selected for data analysis alter the conclusions on the levels of diversity supported by plantations. We suggest that a wide range of scales should be considered in the evaluation of the role of forest plantations on biodiversity conservation.