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Posted on February 16, 2012 by Ash
A feisty River Braan flowing through the Hermitage.
More from my Scotland trip in November! The day after my tarriance in the Caledonian pinewood at Glenmore, I drove south to Dunkeld and met up with a good friend from university who I’d not seen in almost a year. Things worked out well because I wanted to visit the Hermitage to see one of Britain’s tallest trees, and he used to work in Dunkeld and was familiar with the area.
Just before the supertall tree I wished to see was this fine Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), itself an impressive enough sight with its towering, ramrod-straight stem.
The tree I came to see – the supertall tree – is the one on the right. In February 2009, a team of arborists from Sparsholt College in Hampshire were tasked with making official measurements for the Tree Register, who pointed them at four candidates for Britain’s tallest tree. The tallest was the Stronardron Douglas fir near Dunans Castle, Argyll, which measured 63.79 m (209 ft). Second place went to the grand fir in Diana’s Grove at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl (62.70 m) – which I visited at the end of my trip – while third place went to the Dughall Mor Douglas fir at Inverness (62.02 m). The fourth tallest tree was the supertall Douglas fir in my photograph, which was found to be 61.31 m tall. It is now the third tallest tree since the Blair Castle tree came a cropper in 2010 (which I’ll cover in the next post!), assuming no other reshuffling of the champs, which are raising the bar all the time.
The tallest Douglas firs in the world are found in their native range in North America. They are about the 100-metre mark! The only other species of tree with individuals taller than 100 m is Sequoia sempervirens - the California or coast redwood. The world’s tallest known living organism is a coast redwood called Hyperion – it was discovered in 2006 and has been measured at a whopping 115.6 m (379.3)!
The Black Linn Falls – seen under the bridge in the first photo - were fair roaring. I remember my mate telling me he’d seen salmon leaping up the falls before. I was well jel!
After crossing the bridge and checking out Ossian’s Hall and Ossian’s Cave we walked upstream...
We crossed back over the Braan at the Rumbling Bridge, where there are more falls, and looped back to where we started, on the way passing these mushrooms sprouting from a heavily decayed birch. Then back to Dunkeld for dinner in the Atholl Arms Hotel!
7 comments for The Hermitage, Dunkeld, and one of Britain’s tallest trees
February 17, 2012 - 06:12 GMT
Beautiful Pictures! I especially like the fungi on the Birch and the Douglas Fir trunk.
February 17, 2012 - 12:30 GMT
Wonderful images. I especially admire the last-but-one, the layers of trees almost look frosty.
February 17, 2012 - 14:55 GMT
February 20, 2012 - 01:03 GMT
I enjoyed coming along for this journey. Trees are a grand reason for going visiting.
February 20, 2012 - 21:20 GMT
They certainly are! Thanks Marly.
February 26, 2012 - 00:18 GMT
Beautiful trees. The best part is they are still standing.
March 1, 2012 - 20:38 GMT
The tall trees here are actually relatively young. They aren't a native species - Douglas fir was only introduced to Britain in 1827, grand fir in 1832 - so are not yet two centuries old!
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I visited this tree in about 1978 and picked up a tiny fragment of the dead wood which I fashioned into a small neck pendant - still have it for luck (and longevity)! The tree was well and truly dead but a lot of wood still in existence then - I should have made a table! I went back in the...
Was the shot out of the tree not the 17th hole at the Rosendaelsche Golfclub near Arnhem, The Netherlands??????? Thank you in advance for your reaction. Kind Regards, Marlof Strumphler Krullenlaan 20 2061 HV Bloemendaal The Netherlands
Good work in planting and watching these trees grow. I haven't planted any but I have a number of trees I return to for measurement. I have a few young trees I am adding to my list.
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