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Crab apple, Stirling

Quite possibly the smallest girthed ancient tree ever featured as a tree of the moment...

31 March 2008

It's not very often that you come across an ancient tree with a girth of only 1.75m but it makes it no less ancient than the 10m+ oaks that readily spring to mind when thinking of an ancient tree. This crab apple is one of six recorded so far on the website.

Link to crab apple, Stirling

This tree was discovered by volunteer verifier Lorna Holl on her return from verifying an ancient rowan (more of which in coming weeks) in Stirling. She takes up the story:

I have never been a great one for sticking to paths, rather preferring to find my own way or follow a deer track. You never know what you might find or see, so I am always extending the walks I do in the hope of finding a new tree. I have a favourite walk up behind a hill close to where we live, where I can sit and admire a beautiful view up Loch Lomond and be sure to have it to myself!

When I first found the crab apple I was on my way back from the rowan tree mentioned above, taking a new deer path back down the hill through the woods. At first I actually thought it was a hawthorn, because of the shape and size, but it had no thorns, and when the leaves came out later on they were certainly not hawthorn leaves. One branch had enough life left in it to produce blossoms, and then we knew what it was. This is my favourite tree and I would love to be able to help it by clearing away the crowded trees around it. It carries a lot of dead wood and supports several other plants and well as hosts of insects. It has been swamped by a larch plantation and has almost given up the fight for sunlight and space.

Ancient crab apple, Stirling. Photo Lorna Holl