On the wild side: four of UK’s tallest trees all in one place

The oldest tree in the UK is believed to be this Yew at Fortingall in Perthshire. It is estimated to be around 5,000 years old.
The oldest tree in the UK is believed to be this Yew at Fortingall in Perthshire. It is estimated to be around 5,000 years old.

Forestry Commission Scotland announced last week that four of the tallest trees in Britain are in Reelig Glen near Inverness.

A Douglas fir has been measured at 217.10ft (66.4m) and is claimed as the tallest conifer in Europe.

Close by is a larch, an unusual conifer in that it is deciduous, standing at 157.5ft (48m). A Norway spruce rising to a height of 154.2ft (47m) and a lime tree lofting to 150.11ft (46m).

To find all four in the same glen is remarkable and it is believed all were planted in the 1880’s so are well over a hundred years old.

The oldest Douglas fir is believed to be found on the Heywood walk in Eggesford Forest in Devon, was planted around 1830 by the Earl of Portsmouth from the first seeds to arrive in the UK from North America.

Much closer to home we have the oldest larch tree, planted in 1725 by Sir James Nasmyth of Posso, in Kailzie Gardens close to Peebles.

During a walk around the gardens you can walk right to the tree, it is not fenced off, despite being 389 years old.

Kailzie is also home to one of the Tweed Valley Osprey centres, due to open again at Easter, and well worth a visit.

The oldest tree in the UK is believed to be the Yew at Fortingall in Perthshire and is estimated at around 5,000 years old.

Its trunk has been cut away over many years and now appears as several separate sections. White pegs are placed around the tree to indicate its former trunk width and a wall has been erected around the tree to allow undisturbed growth, but it is still open to visitors and access is free.

Berwickshire has its own tree skyscraper, a giant redwood, native to Northern America.

It was planted by the Prime Minister at the time, William Gladstone on a visit to Langton House in 1876 and was measured at 119ft (36m) in 1990 and can be seen behind the main gates to the old estate just west of Duns.

LAST MEETING

Tonight, (April 3) is our last meeting of the year.

The brief AGM is followed by three of the committee will be giving short slideshows, Roger will show us Wildlife Survey Sites in Northumberland,

David will transport us to Bhutan for it’s plants and people while Myra has been to some far wild areas of Scotland and delights with stunning views, this time from Tiree. Well worth attending, just for this alone!

As ever the entry if £1.50 and includes refreshments at the end. You don’t have to be a member just come along for the show.