Tree of the month - March

Tree measurers naturally prefer to discover and celebrate new champion trees, rather than report the loss of old ones. But no tree will live for ever, and an important part of keeping the Tree Register up to date is to replace lost champions with new ones.

One tree removed recent for health and safety reasons was the champion Macedonian Pine Pinus peuce at Stourhead in Wiltshire, which was remarkable for being both the tallest and the largest girthed specimen on record, at 34m x 153cm trunk thickness. It had become perilously hollow.

It is replaced as champion for height by a Welsh tree, in a group below the dam of Lake Vyrnwy in Powis, and for girth by a Scottish tree in a private pinetum near Crieff, but it will still feature on the searchable online database as a 'Historic Champion Tree', representing the limits which the species can be expected to reach in our growing conditions.

Owen Johnson MBE VMM
(Photo: Owen Johnson)