Scotland's Tree of the Year 2019: Last Ent of Affric, Glen Affric

Reminiscent of an ancient tree-creature from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, this elm stood forgotten in a spur off Glen Affric until a 2012 site visit by FLS and Trees for Life staff. It is the only one of its kind in the glen and likely the last survivor of some ancient forest, and now stands guard over the rebirth of a new native woodland in Affric.

The Last Ent of Affric has quietly lived hidden away from the ravages of Dutch elm disease that is spreading west through the Highlands.

Did you know?

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).

Cadzow Oak, Chatelherault Country Park

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.

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.

Tree fact

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 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.

Did you know?

For the first time in perhaps a thousand years the number of trees in Glen Nevis is increasing.

Future Forests Tree, Fort William

This four-year-old Scots pine represents thousands reversing the deforestation of Glen Nevis thanks to Nevis Landscape Partnership’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.

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.