Sturminster Newton - St Mary's church (Dorset)
Click on the photograph for a closer look
Dawn Redwood in adjacent back garden
|A visit was paid to see this Giant Redwood thanks to the mention of a Wellingtonia behind St. Mary's church on the Dorset Online Parish Clerks website.
A fabulous tree, it has obviously not been crowded by other trees during its growth, so its lush foliage extends right to the ground like a grand cloak. This is one of the great things about these trees, they look superb with branches extending to the ground, but equally stunnning when their trunk is exposed displaying the rich cinnamon-coloured bark and graceful yet sturdy buttress shape.
As the photograph shows, the lower branches really do have a peculiar pre-historic feel about them when you stand within the foliage amongst their downward arching shapes. You have to be there to get the full effect! As a bonus, in a garden adjacent to the churchyard stands a relatively young Dawn Redwood.
|* * * Update - January 2020 * * *
Jonathan wrote last year to enquire about the height of Tree No. 1, as he said he was "endeavouring to measure the height of the Wellingtonia."
In January 2020 he wrote again to say that he measured the height as 111ft and that he had "recently gained access to a reflectorless total station survey instrument and I can confirm the height as 111ft."
Thank you for letting me know, it's interesting that the height is just a foot higher than I measured in 2011. I don't normally expect to get within one or two feet of an accurate figure with my methods and although I had the same instrument as I use now, I have in that period improved my method to iron out some of the minor sources of inaccuracy. So it's possible it may have only grown 1 to 3 feet in that time, perhaps due to water shortages or damage to the growing tip.
Jonathan replied "Your reference to the possibility of the growing tip being damaged brought to my mind the fact that we now have a nest of rooks in the top of the tree. They have been there for several years but I cannot say when they arrived. They need nest building material!?"
Yes, the rooks nesting could have contributed! Thanks again for all your efforts at obtaining an accurate result.
|Common Names and Latin Name||No.||Latitude and Longitude||OS National Grid||Elevation
|Giant Redwood |
|ST 78831 13929||166ft |
|Dawn Redwood |
|ST 78801 13976||127ft |
|Girth was measured at 1.5 metres from ground|