Six trees are in the running for Scotland’s Tree of the Year.
Organised by the Woodland Trust, they are looking for people’s favourite wooden growth in Scotland.
The contenders are:
The Cadzow Oak, Chatelherault Country Park, Hamilton
This is one of 300 very ancient oaks growing on what were the hunting grounds of the Duke of Hamilton, and one of a handful easily accessible to the public within Chatelherault Country Park. Between 600 and 800 years old, it is a very large and hollow ancient tree, predating the nearby medieval castle. It suffered damage from a fire set in its hollow a couple of years ago but still survives.
The Cadzow Oakwoods provided much inspiration to the Cadzow Artists, a school of landscape painters including Horatio McCulloch (1805-67) and Samuel Bough (1822-78).
The Covenanter’s Oak, Dalzell Estate, Motherwell
This oak tree on the Dalzell Estate in Motherwell is over 800 years old and formed part of a deer park planted by King David I. From 1638 to 1688, the Scottish Covenanters sought religious and civil freedom, refusing to subscribe to the view that the monarch was spiritual head of the Church. Under threat of death for their beliefs, Covenanters had to hold clandestine outdoor services, and hundreds attended worship beneath this tree.
The Peace Tree, Stonehaven
This oak was planted at Dunnottar Church in 1919 to mark the signing of the treaty ending the First World War, and is officially recognised as a national war memorial. 100 years on, a service was held on the 6th July 2019 and attended by Freemasons from the Province of Kincardineshire principally from the Lodge of Stonehaven No.65 along with guests from local churches and organisations. The original spade used to plant the tree was on display and is kept in the Masonic Lodge above the internal entrance door.
Once hidden away by brambles the tree has been returned to view in recent years and celebrated its 100th birthday by producing a good crop of acorns for the first time in some years.
The Future Forests Tree, Fort William
This four-year-old Scots pine represents thousands reversing the deforestation of Glen Nevis thanks to Nevis Landscape Parternship’s Future Forests initiative. Seed was collected from gnarly ancient pines high in the glen and grown on in planting boxes around Lochaber. Local children planted the saplings back out in the glen in enclosures protecting them from grazing animals. As the trees grow, so will the children, to become future guardians of the Glen.
For the first time in perhaps a thousand years the number of trees in Glen Nevis is increasing.
The Grand Old Man of Dawyck, Dawyck Botanic Garden
This 340-year-old European silver fir is the oldest tree in Dawyck Botanic Garden near Peebles. Collected from the mountains of Europe, it bears battle scars from centuries of harsh weather, including the great storm of 1880, the hurricane of 1968 and the relentless battering of Boxing Day 1998. Planted in the wake of the Battle of Bothwell Bridge and before the Jacobite rising, it has stood steady through many momentous periods in Scottish history.
The Last Ent of Affric, Glen Affric
The elm, the size of whose trunk suggests that it is over 300 years old, has stood, long-forgotten until a recent site visit in 2012 by local staff of Forestry and Land Scotland and Trees for Life. Looking like one of the tree-shepherds from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings story, it has been given the name of the Last Ent of Affric, thanks to its unique position – and role.
The veteran tree, which also serves as an owl roost, is hidden 11 km from the end of the road in Glean nan Ciche, a side spur off Glen Affric that is managed by Forestry and Land Scotland.
Vote for your favourite HERE.