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Press release

Sycamore Gap tree ‘will live on’ as National Trust and National Park announce next steps

A teal coloured crane standing on green hills next to Hadrian's wall, at the site where the Sycamore Gap tree used to stand
The Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland, was moved by crane on 12 October 2023 | © National Trust Images/Bec Hughes

Following the felling of the much-loved Sycamore Gap tree in September, the National Trust has said that the seeds and cuttings taken from the fallen tree are showing positive signs of being viable for propagating.

The 200-year-old tree, which stood within Northumberland National Park on land cared for by the conservation charity, was an iconic landmark that was visited by thousands of people every year.

Andy Jasper, Director of Gardens and Parklands at the National Trust said: “After discovering the felled tree, our teams were quickly on the scene to collect material that would enable us to propagate from the tree.

“This work is taking place in our specialist rare plant propagation nursery and although this wasn't really the right time of year to do this work, we are encouraged by positive signs of life, and are hopeful that over 30 per cent of the mature seeds and half of the cuttings (scions) will be viable, which means we can hopefully grow new descendants from the tree in the future.

“Over the next year, we’ll be doing all we can to nurture the seeds and cuttings, in the hope that some will grow into strong, sturdy saplings – providing a new future for this much-loved tree.

“We are also hoping that the trunk of the original tree will regrow, but it could take up to three years before we know if this is possible. As with many things in landscape restoration, we need to be patient and take the time to let nature do its thing.”

After an unprecedented public response to news of the tree’s felling, with millions engaging and sharing posts on National Trust and Northumberland National Park’s social media channels, the organisations are working in partnership to develop a fitting tribute to ensure the legacy of the Sycamore Gap tree lives on. Details of how local people and communities can get involved will be announced early in the new year by the partnership, and any donations already received will be put towards this work.

In the meantime, and responding to hundreds of suggestions to plant more trees locally, the public can donate to the National Trust’s Plant a Tree fund – with new funds channelled into creating new woodlands and helping to restore nature in Northumberland.

Andrew Poad, General Manager of the site for the National Trust says: “We’re incredibly grateful for the many commemorative ideas we’ve received since the tree was felled.

“The creativity and thought behind some of these ideas has been inspiring and is an indication of just how important this tree was for so many people.

“We are carefully considering all suggestions and collating the viable ones into themes for further public engagement, about which we’ll provide further details soon.

“One of the key themes that has shone through the suggestions is for more tree planting, so we’re encouraging anyone wishing to help the National Trust with its tree planting ambitions to donate to our Plant a Tree fund.

“We are working closely with our partners’ Northumberland National Park Authority, Historic England and Hadrian’s Wall Partnership to agree what happens next, with a focus on ensuring that there is ‘hope for the future of nature’.

“Together, we will be launching a specific appeal in the new year to go towards plans for the site and for the wood from the iconic tree’s trunk.”

Tony Gates, Chief Executive, Northumberland National Park Authority said: “The unprecedented and historic incident which took place in September not only affected people locally, but also across the world, and we have felt this through the many poignant anecdotes people have shared. We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we work behind the scenes and take a considered approach with our partners on what the next steps will be.

“Everyone involved is keen to engage with the public in a meaningful way, to do the right thing for nature and people and ensure, as we have always said, that the legacy of Sycamore Gap is one that is positive and heartfelt.”

The partnership is also inviting the public to submit their photos and memories of the tree to These recollections will add to the hundreds of messages and memories shared in a temporary reflection space opened in the immediate aftermath of the felling at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre – the Northumberland National Park Authority’s visitor hub close to where the tree stood.

Andrew continued: “Any photos and memories we receive will be used to help create potential future exhibitions, inform our next steps for honouring the tree and aid the ambition of creating 3D imaging of the tree.”

Historic England is also assisting the partnership on dating the tree. Mike Collins from Historic England said: “We are conducting a scientific analysis using a segment of the fallen tree to help date it more accurately, and we hope to have the results soon.”