Come sit beneath the fiddle tree

February 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Woodland Matters

On the bank of the River Tay near Dunkeld in Perthshire is a very special oak tree, but you might not think so at first glance.

It is around 300 years old and its bark is bristling with lichen, moss and fungi, and growing out of a rotten hollow on the trunk are a number of thin rowans, ‘bird trees’ that have sprouted from seed deposited in the droppings of woodland wildlife.

Internationally renowned singer-songwriter and composer Dougie MacLean and the Woodland Trust are urging Scots from around the world to vote for the nation’s entry to a European tree contest. Internationally renowned singer-songwriter and composer Dougie MacLean and the Woodland Trust are urging Scots from around the world to vote for the nation’s entry to a European tree contest.

These features make the oak ecologically valuable of course, but along this stretch of riverbank such trees are hardly rare, and as many of its branches have fallen away over the years it’s hard to find much beauty in its form. What does make this particular tree special is…

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