Fortingall Yew, Fortingall

The Fortingall Yew is an ancient European yew in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland. Modern expert estimates have put its age over 3,000 years. It may be the oldest tree in Britain.AgeModern expert estimates put the age of the tree at between 2,000 and 3,000 years, although it may be a remnant of a post-Roman Christian site and around 1,500 years old. Others have suggested an age as great as 5,000 years to 9000 years. This still makes it one of the oldest known trees in Europe, although the root system of the Norway spruce Old Tjikko in Sweden is at least 9,500 years old. The Fortingall Yew is possibly the oldest tree in Britain.The treeThe tree's once massive trunk with a former head of unknown original height, is split into several separate stems, giving the impression of several smaller trees, with loss of the heartwood rings that would establish its true age. This is a result of the natural decay of the ancient heartwood, which reduced the centre of the trunk down to ground level by 1770. Other than this, the tree is still in good health, and may last for many more centuries. By 1833 it was noted that "large arms had been removed and even masses of the trunk, carried off, to make drinking-cups and other curiosities." It is protected by a low wall erected in 1785 to preserve it but it can still be easily viewed. The yew is male, however in 2015 scientists from the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh reported that one small branch on the outer part of the crown had changed sex and begun to bear a small group of berries - an occurrence occasionally noted in conifers. The seeds have been preserved for study and will be used to help maintain genetic diversity in yews.
Plan your Fortingall Yew visit and explore what else you can see and do in Fortingall using our Fortingall day trip planning website .
Source
map
Create an itinerary including Fortingall Yew
Fortingall Yew Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
62 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We hiked from Kenmore to Fortingall so of course visited the old Yew tree, which is next to the church and a stone throw from Fortingall hotel, where we stayed. It's dubbed as possibly the oldtest tre...  more »
  • The flagstones marking the historical context are a nice touch but could be far more informative. The tree is not particularly special to look at and so there needs to be more information about how th...  more »
  • A few minutes to view the tree and church is well worth the time. Also the Fortingall Hotel has a bar right next door to the church as well as an excellent restaurant.  more »

Plan your trip to Fortingall

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Fortingall

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Perth and Kinross by other users

11 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Comrie BY A USER FROM GERMANY March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Perth BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM MALTA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 15 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 39 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM CANADA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL November, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Perth and Kinross & Edinburgh BY A USER FROM CANADA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans