Now we’d always put the Dark Hedges from Game of Thrones No.1 but as the Woodland Trust reveals its tips for top timber we say tree cheers to these wooden wonders.
The Trust’s panel has shortlisted 12 contenders from across Britain and Northern Ireland for Tree of the Year 2023.
And they’re concentrating on urban which is probably why the Dark Hedges don’t get on it.
It’s strange, of course, that we take for granted the rich landscape under our noses or above our heads.
The cherry blossom whose pink leaves would shed onto our garage roof and driveway in our family home in Glasgow.
Or the Botanical Gardens in our cities.
Ulster says trees
And when we would routinely drive through the Dark Hedges en route to my Aunt Breid’s in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.
So it is important that our green-fingered friends keep feeding the earth and our souls by flagging up trees’ place in our world.
Of course, it was never more timely as the climate change crisis reminds us that without our sustainable rain forests we have no world.
Rain forests, of course, are increasingly sought out for travellers for their itineraries particularly the sustainable adventurer.
But you can escape to a forested funderland in your own backyard.
Now the Woodland Trust has identified 13 trees for the Great British and Northern Irish public to vote on.
But we’re leafing through a few of them to give you a firry four and let you do the rest of the work.
It helps if you’ve got large royal parks to let your trees breathe.
And the 6m sweet chestnut in Greenwich Park, London, has been inhaling for 360 years.
Since Charles II’s gardeners had it built for him.
Its put on the timber over the years and now has a 6m girth.
While its contorted, decomposing trunks have their use for wildlife habitats including invertebrates and fungi.
The Elizabethean Age
Addlestone in Surrey, south of London (no, us neither) smirks at quite such a young tree… their 7.3m crouch oak is 800 years old.
This giant is also known as the Queen Elizabeth I picnic tree after Good Queen Bess was said to have dined under its great boughs.
John Wycliff gave sermons under the tree in the 1800s, earning it the moniker Wycliff’s Oak.
And popular baptist Victorian baptist Charles Spurgeon preached there in 1872 adding ‘Speakers Corner’ to the list of aliases.
Surviving the Blitz
Now you can mess with the people of the West Country in England but they will prevail.
And England’s green and pleasant land stood up to the might of the Luftwaffe in the Second World War.
When 20 bombers hit Exeter and destroyed many a building, among them the Southernhay United Reformed Church on Dix’s Field in the city centre.
But the oak tee, mere feet from the front door somehow survived and still stands strong today as a symbol of hope and strength.
Scotland is rightly proud of its rich forests and wildlife but our urban landscapes also boast towering trees.
The Highland Gateway Walnut in the car park of Inveralmond Retail Park on the A9 at Perth is an oasis amid the concrete.
And is at its best in the summer when its boughs offer shade and relief from the hustle and bustle as well as the sun’s rays.