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The Llangernyw Yew

The oldest tree in Wales..

17 June 2010

At possibly over 4,000 years old, the tree found in the grounds of St Dygain’s Church in Llangernyw, in the County Borough of Conwy, is one of the oldest living things in Wales.

This means that the tree, a male Yew, would have been planted in the prehistoric Bronze Age! In June 2002 the Tree Council, whilst commemorating the golden jubilee of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, designated the Llangernyw Yew tree as one of fifty Great British trees in recognition of its place in national heritage.

Until very recently, an oil tank stood in the space created by the fragments – exactly where the original tree once grew. Happily, the significance of the tree was realised and the tank was moved elsewhere. One of the fragmented stems has slowly collapsed onto a nearby gravestone. An elderly lady was upset that she is now unable to sit by a family grave to pray and it was agreed to remove the limb - one of four remaining fragments. However, The Conservation Foundation funded an arboricultural consultant to provide a report on the tree and the fragment. The lady was so taken aback by the report on this ancient tree that she has now agreed for the gravestone to be moved to another part of the churchyard so that the limb may rest on the ground and continue growing.

The Llangernyw Yew Photo by Shaun Burkey