Scots pine becomes tallest ever recorded in UK

Two of our foresters beside the biggest ever recorded Scots pine

Two of our foresters beside the biggest ever recorded Scots pine

Latest update 03.06.2014 14:36

A Scots pine at Cragside in Northumberland has officially become the tallest native conifer ever recorded in the UK.

Measuring 40 metres tall – the same height as 10 London double-decker buses stacked on top of each other – the conifer is Cragside’s fifth champion tree.

As well as being the tallest of its species the pine is also the 200,000th record on the Tree Register of Britain and Ireland.

Chris Clues, tree and woodland manager at Cragside, said: 'We’re thrilled that Cragside is home to the tallest native conifer in the UK; it is a truly wonderful specimen.

'This Scots pine is not like other commercially grown Scots pine trees, which are usually grown and thinned out after 30 years; this one has been left to its own devices and has a deep bushy crown to it.

What makes a tree champion?

To become a champion tree involves a species being the tallest or widest of its kind recorded in the county, or the UK. Experts from the Tree Register visit the trees to climb and measure them before officially recognising their status.

'I’ve been climbing and measuring trees at Cragside for 10 years,' says Chris Clues. 'Scaling this tree is both challenging and rewarding. With over seven million trees on the estate, including Noble and Douglas Firs, it’s really satisfying knowing that I’ve climbed one of the tallest ever recorded.'

Brian Muelaner, ancient tree adviser for the National Trust, commented: 'This is a surprising result as you’d think the tallest Scots pine in the UK would be found in Scotland, but then Cragside is not that far from Scotland really.

'This exciting new record adds to the champion trees already found on Trust land. It’s through the Trust’s unique ownership that we can look to protect each of these trees, which are all special with their own stories to be told.'

Champion Trees of the National Trust

The woodland at Cragside is now the backbone of the landscape, compiled of native and exotic conifers, including the beautiful blue-green Scots pine, as well as dark green yews, Douglas firs and wellingtonias, securing its Grade I listed status as a landscape garden.

In total, we care for 200 champion trees across England, Wales and Northern Ireland including the UK’s overall champion tree, the Pendunculate (English or Common) Oak, measuring 40.4m tall and the English Oak, which has been the inspiration for the National Trust logo since it was founded in 1895. Both can be seen at Stourhead in Wiltshire.

Other significant sites include Nymans in West Sussex which is home for 34 champion trees, including the Magnolia ‘Michael Rosse’.

We also care for 21 champion trees at Bodnant in North Wales, including the 32 metre weeping Giant Sequoia, 11 at Rowallane in Northern Ireland and three champions at Trengwainton and one at Trelissick in the South-West, which both boast more modest, exotic champion trees.

Find out about our heritage trees