Tallest tree in Britain found in Highland glen

Picture: Peter Jolly
Picture: Peter Jolly
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THE tallest tree in Britain has been discovered in a Highland glen, just a few yards from the tree that previously held the record.

For years, the famous Dughall Mor (Big Douglas in Gaelic), a Douglas fir growing in Reelig Glen, near Inverness, has held the title of Britain’s tallest tree, measuring 210ft.

However, experts revealed yesterday that there might be “something in the water” in the glen after another Douglas fir, located only 55 yards away, was discovered to be 8ft taller.

The newly discovered fir has also become the tallest conifer in Europe.

The find was recorded last year during a survey and published in the Tree Register, a database of notable trees throughout Britain and Ireland.

The unique register has details of more than 150,000 trees, some of which are rare, unusual or historically significant. Providing full data on the largest trees of each species, it is the definitive record of Britain and Ireland’s champion trees.

The Forestry Commission Scotland site at Reelig Glen has the largest concentration of fir trees exceeding 180ft anywhere in Britain and four of the tallest trees in the country.

Giles Brockman, environment manager for the Forestry Commission’s team in Inverness, Ross and Skye, said that the annual contest between the trees depends on how a tree grows each season.

He said: “The glen has obviously provided some protection from the harshest of the elements to give all of these trees a good, solid start in life, which has let them come on in leaps and bounds.

“We’ve always known that we have some of the finest air and richest soil up here, but we’re beginning to think there might be something special about the waters in the Moniack Burn, too.

“It’s quite something to have four of the tallest trees in Britain and to have one of those also holding the European title is pretty amazing.”