Sycamore Gap tree ‘will live on’ as National Trust and National Park announce next steps - National Trust

The Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland, was moved by crane on 12 October 2023 | © National Trust Images/Bec Hughes
The Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland, was moved by crane on 12 October 2023 | © National Trust Images/Bec Hughes

Following the felling of the much-loved Sycamore Gap tree in September, the National Trust has said that the seeds and cuttings taken from the fallen tree are showing positive signs of being viable for propagating.

The 200-year-old tree, which stood within Northumberland National Park on land cared for by the conservation charity, was an iconic landmark that was visited by thousands of people every year.

Andy Jasper, Director of Gardens and Parklands at the National Trust said: “After discovering the felled tree, our teams were quickly on the scene to collect material that would enable us to propagate from the tree. This work is taking place in our specialist rare plant propagation nursery and although this wasn't really the right time of year to do this work, we are encouraged by positive signs of life, and are hopeful that over 30 per cent of the mature seeds and half of the cuttings (scions) will be viable, which means we can hopefully grow new descendants from the tree in the future. Over the next year, we’ll be doing all we can to nurture the seeds and cuttings, in the hope that some will grow into strong, sturdy saplings – providing a new future for this much-loved tree. We are also hoping that the trunk of the original tree will regrow, but it could take up to three years before we know if this is possible. As with many things in landscape restoration, we need to be patient and take the time to let nature do its thing.”

After an unprecedented public response to news of the tree’s felling, with millions engaging and sharing posts on National Trust and Northumberland National Park’s social media channels, the organisations are working in partnership to develop a fitting tribute to ensure the legacy of the Sycamore Gap tree lives on. Details of how local people and communities can get involved will be announced early in the new year by the partnership, and any donations already received will be put towards this work.

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Posted On: 06/12/2023

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