The lower Ardkinglas Woodland Garden, often referred to as The Pinetum, was initiated in around 1875 by the Callander family. This area now provides a home for a number of Champion Trees, the tallest or broadest of their species in Britain.
Ardkinglas' favourable growing conditions lead to the exceptional size and longevity exhibited by many of the coniferous species introduced to this area of the Garden via the 19th century plant-hunters. The Champion Trees at Ardkinglas also include 'the mightiest conifer in Europe' a remarkable European Silver Fir (Abies alba) with a girth of nearly ten metres. Other champions in Ardkinglas Woodland Garden are Patagonian Cypress (Fitzroya cupressoides), Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), Western Red Cedar (Thuya plicata) and the unusual Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana var. jeffreyi).
Please click here for your Champion Tree Guide.
Our Abies Grandis was the tallest tree in Britain for a number of years, however has now been overtaken. The tree was planted as a sapling 135 years ago, around 1875; other events around that time include the Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana; Alexander Graham Bell demonstrating his telephone to Queen Victoria and Tchaikovsky completing the music for Swan Lake.
It regained the title when it was climbed in 2010 and measured at 64.28m, but has recently lost it again. The title of Britain's tallest tree has changed hands three times in the last year. Currently a Douglas Fir in Reelig Glen Wood west of Inverness holds the crown and is the tallest tree found in Northern Europe. Measured in November by David Alderman and Chic Henderson it is agreed to be 66.4m tall which is 217 feet and 10 inches. (The Tree Register).
More than 100 years ago the 10th Duke of Argyll dubbed this 250 year old tree 'the mightiest conifer in Europe'
Straight and Very Tall
This champion tree clearly loves Ardkinglas. From the moment it was planted (around 1875) it has grown at an incredible rate.
In the wild these very special trees grow 70m tall and live for up to 5000 years. This 'baby-tree' is only around 150 years old and 20m high.
Is this North American tree going to revolutionise our commercial forestry industry? Its wood is much more durable than many of Scotland's commercially grown trees. Plus there is a welcome trend to make forestry plantations more diverse.
This 25m tall tree's story was a genuine mystery that puzzled experts for more than a century.