Old Holly Bush in running for award

Castle Fraser staff Toni Watt, Peter Randlo and Jill Standing
Castle Fraser staff Toni Watt, Peter Randlo and Jill Standing

An ancient holly bush at Castle Fraser near Inverurie is in the running to be named Scotland’s Tree of the Year.

The competition run by The Woodland Trust celebrates the country’s best loved trees – from historic giants to those with a special local story to tell.

The Old Holly Bush at Castle Fraser

The Old Holly Bush at Castle Fraser

The Old Holly Bush at Castle Fraser is up against The Beauly Sycamore, Beauly; “The Big Tree”, Orkney; The Carnegie Oak, Dunfermline; David McCabe’s Spruce, Crieff and The Greenock Cut Oak, Inverclyde.

Castle Fraser’s staff are very proud of this ancient holly tree whose main trunk has a whopping girth of 3m 17cm.

Its exact age is unknown but it is believed to be one of the oldest holly trees in Scotland, and it appears as a mature tree in paintings of the castle from the early 1800s.

The tree stands on what is believed to have been the edge of a 17th Century enclosed garden that was surrounded by a holly hedge rather than a wall.

The Old Holly Bush is part of Castle Fraser’s Ancient Tree school trail and it is one of Aberdeenshire’s champion trees.

Visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear to vote by Sunday, October 8.