Favourite tall trees in British isles

Which are your top trees? Think mine are the ones round Betws-y-coed they are approximately the tallest in UK and within a few years they may be the tallest in Europe so long as they don’t get felled for the wood. These ones are conifers more tricky thinking about broadleaves as there are lots of tall ones in different places. There are various websites and books listing tall trees in different parts of UK and it can be worth going to see your local tallest trees for some inspiration

I know those Coed Maesnewyddion trees well, topping the ByC skyline as they do. I knew the forester responsible for their care in the 60s - I have hugged them, read poetry beneath them. I remember the Forestry School just up the road from there
Opposite them and across the Llugwy, just beside the narrow winding road, one can talk to younger but very similar ones…
I love all trees but my current favourite is Aspen Populus tremula, it speaks in fluttering visible whispers, not groans, and is found in very remote places. I have six 1 foot-high ones, not far from where they grow naturally, with their little toes just reaching the Channel Wrack line. They are not tall but they are very proud to be Orcadian.

That’s beautifully put, lovely. You also evoke so well the nature of your beloved Orkney.

I spent a couple of hours in a lovely stand of aspen at Insh Marshes (near Kingussie) last New Year - no leaves to tremble at that stage of course but pretty amazing nonetheless with their strangely waxy twigs. Our autumn berries on rowans and hawthorns are wonderful at present, especially around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

People can vote for a tree of the year at the Woodland Trust website - the Scottish one is at http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/tree-of-the-year/scotland/ and includes a tree in Kirkwall. This is about individual trees, and there are other home nations’ short lists as well of course. Closing date for voting is 8th October.

“I knew the forester responsible for their care in the 60s” - worth another visit as they are twice as tall as they were in the 1960’s. The area is just starting to have the aspect of the tall tree parts of USA where those species are native. The difference is that there are no old trees in these Welsh forests as they are even age plantations of youngsters and lack many of the other organisms associated with oldgrowth forests.

See https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/746299/favourite-trees for one of mine.

see our project here:


Seems the tallest trees in ZA are rather similar height to tallest in UK, at the moment at least. Do you know if any of those tall ZA ones are still growing fast as I think the tall Eucalyptus in Europe have reached max size just over 70m and are not putting on much more height. By comparison the Douglas firs and small number of other conifer species in UK are still putting on 0.5m per year even at well over 60m, tallest around 68m.

I suspect that almost all our alien trees in the Champion list are well over 100 years old and have stabilized in height. The indigenous ones are closer to 1000 years old than 100, and are probably also stable.

Only the tallest gymnosperms are likely to still be growing, but I have no idea if anyone is looking …

Possibly the foresters are looking especially if they are wondering when the best time to cut them is.

We dont have champion trees that are plantations: they are all specimen stands or odd trees in markets, squares or arboreta. I seem to remember that are tallest gums were not made champions because they were due to be harvested within a decade … they have since been felled.