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Neighbour inherits ‘tallest tree’ title

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28 MARCH 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14521

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A Douglas fir reaching over 60 metres into the sky has been declared the tallest tree in Wales.

The gigantic tree, on the Lake Vyrnwy estate near Llanwddyn, managed by Forestry Commission Wales, can lay claim to being the tallest living thing in Wales after the previous record-holder had to be felled because of safety concerns.

The new tallest tree measures 60.62 metres – not quite as tall as its 63.79 metres high predecessor – and is a close neighbour of the previous “champion”.

FC Wales Local Area Manager Mike Whitley said, “It was a sad moment seeing the previous tallest tree in Wales being felled.

“However, it took only two days to confirm its successor, which is another Douglas fir that happens to be growing right next to the previous tree, so we didn’t have to look very far.”

The height of the tree was measured by Stuart Clarke of Treefellers – the same arboricultural company that felled the previous champion – who was seen climbing the tree on national television during BBC1’s Countryfile programme on Sunday.

The new record holder was confirmed by David Alderman, Director of the Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI).

David said, “This tree is one of only seven in Wales believed to be at or around the 60m mark. At 60.62m, it is currently the tallest tree in Wales, with the second tallest being a 60.5m grand fir at Leighton Hall, near Welshpool.”

It took Stuart around an hour to climb and measure the tree using the same, approved method as had previously been used. It is only the third tree over 60 metres ever to be climbed in Wales.

The previous tallest tree in Wales fell victim to this winter’s stormy weather and had to be taken down after Mike noticed damage when he was carrying out routine checks.

As well as being the tallest in Wales, it was the joint tallest tree in the UK – sharing the record with a tree in Argyll, Scotland – and, according to the TROBI, was 124 years old.

The Lake Vyrnwy estate is a popular area for recreation and enjoyment and it was decided to take down the damaged tree, which had two substantial cracks on opposite sides of the main stem, as it posed a danger to the public, as well as forestry staff carrying out management operations in the area.

NOTES TO EDITORS

About 14 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.

For more information on forestry at the Lake Vyrnwy estate, contact Mike Whitley on 01352 910310, mobile 07747 475161.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email clive.davies@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

e-mail: mike.whitley@forestry.gsi.gov.uk