The mighty mutli-stemmed giant sequoia, also known as giant redwood, that stands in the magical walled garden at Castlewellan Forest Park was recently announced on BBC’s The One Show as Northern Ireland’s Tree of the Year. It is now competing with trees from England, Scotland and Wales to win the coveted UK title, which was brought back to the Mourne AONB by the Holm Oak in Rostrevor in 2017. You can help to repeat that success with this striking, rare and much loved tree.
The giant sequoia was planted as a sapling in 1856, at the same time as the Castle was built by the Annesley family – the former owners of the Castlewellan demesne who had a strong passion and love for trees. This tree was grown from one of the original sequoia seeds first brought back to England from California in 1853 by the renowned collector William Lobb, working for Veitch Nurseries. He dashed to the Sierra Nevada in 1852 when he first heard of these monsters, anticipating correctly that the species, renowned for being the world’s largest tree, would be hugely popular among Victorian collectors.
Multi-stemmed forms of the tree are rarely seen other than in the wild, with this tree having no fewer than 19 trunks! Young climbers - and older observers - are often amazed when it is pointed out that all 19 are in fact part of one incredible tree. It is clear from the votes attracted and the reaction to the NI award that so many people have been inspired by this tree and have a host of wonderful memories of it.
Help to lift the Castlewellan Redwood to the UK title by voting via the link below.
Please visit the BBC's website and help bring this prestigious title back to Mourne for the second time in three years! And please hurry – voting closes on Wednesday 24th October.