I have a confession to make……. I love trees. Any trees will do but what I really love are ancient trees. Old monuments that have stood the test of time. I struggle to get my head around the amount of history these living beings have witnessed.
Where I come from in Sussex we have Kingley Vale. Filled with majestic Yew trees, Kingley Vale possesses some of the oldest living things in Britain. Several are at least 500 years old. These trees could have been standing when the Church of England was first created. Perhaps even when Henry VIII was crowned. They pre-date the Armada in 1588. To me that is mind blowing.
The Oldest Tree in Britain
The oldest tree in Great Britain is the Fortingall Yew based in Perthshire. Situated within a churchyard of Fortingall Parish Church the Fortingall Yew is 3,000-9,000-year-old. I don’t even know how this is possible. This tree could have been growing when Britain was separated from mainland Europe by rising sea waters. Older than Christianity. Older than Stonehenge. Older than the Pyramids. A living thing that has survived, when Jericho, of the same time could not survive. More conservative estimates say it is probably 5000 years old but still impressive.
These facts are so incredible that I seriously doubted my research ability but it all stands up. Trees are amazing!
Here in Turkey there are many ancient trees. Several survive in the gardens of Topkapi palace. Near to Yuvarlakcay there is an old Liquidambar that has a hollowed out trunk, perfect for a photo opportunity!
We also have the Wishing Tree near the village of Fevziye, which we visit on our Discover Dalyan trip. A Turkey oak, said to be around 2000 years old. The tree is festooned with ribbons. These are tied on by people making a wish. This was a pagan ritual, often in spring, for a baby but today any wish will do.