Page last updated at 01:02 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Scots fir is 'tallest tree in UK'

The Stronardron Douglas Fir in Argyll, Picture by Lukasz Warzecha
The team measured the Douglas Fir in Argyll by climbing to the top

A Douglas Fir in Argyll has been named the UK's tallest tree by a team of experts, who climbed to the top.

At 63.79m (209ft) the Stronardon Douglas Fir near Dunans Castle beat the Grand Fir at Blair Castle in Perthshire to the title by more than a metre.

Arborists from Sparsholt College in Hampshire have been gathering official measurements for the Tree Register.

Mark Tansley, who organised the project, said Scotland provided the ideal environment for tall trees.

He said: "Scotland has excellent growing conditions, such as a damp environment and deep valleys that allow conifers to reach extraordinary heights."

Mr Tansley's team measured four trees picked out by the Tree Register as possible contenders for Scotland's largest tree.

This included the UK's previous tallest tree, the Douglas Fir at Reelig Glen, Inverness at 62.02m, and a Douglas Fir at The Hermitage, Dunkeld, Perthshire, which measured 61.31m.

The team are taking their project to England but are confident Argyll's Douglas Fir, which stands about 12m (40ft) taller than Nelson's Column in London's Trafalgar Square, will retain its title.

Chris Hunter, who scaled the tree, said: "I've been climbing trees for 17 years and have never tackled anything so tall, challenging and rewarding. They were truly breathtaking trees set in breathtaking locations. Every one was worth the visit on its own."

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