Go to map

Borrowdale - Fraternal Four

Tree ID: 88

Yews recorded: Ancient 7m+

Tree girth: 752cm

Girth height: at 60cm

Tree sex: female

Date of visit: 20-Jun-02

Source of earliest mention: 1803: Wordsworth's poem 'Yew Trees'


June 2002 – Tim Hills: Largest of the Borrowdale yews ‘Fraternal Four’. A hollow shell. Girth was 24′ 8” (752cm) keeping the tape 2′ above the sloping ground. It is one of the ’50 Great British Trees’ chosen to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee year.
February 2015: This is taken from an article in British Wildlife pp 178-182 by Maurice Pankhurst, Stuart A’Hara and Joan Cottrell: A storm on 12th January 2005 was ‘powerful enough to remove the entire canopy’ of this tree but that by 2014 it had ‘developed the beginnings of a new, albeit lower, canopy. Its future survival depends upon ensuring that the tree remains unmolested by farmstock and free from human intervention’. An earlier storm in 1998 saw the loss of a major limb, and this presented an opportunity for dendrochronological analysis, completed by Newcastle University and revealing a ring count of 1500 rings. DNA technology was aslo carried out to establish whether any of the three remaining trees might be genetic clones, and it was established that this yew and Tree 2 have identical DNA fingerprints. This means they were either once fragments of a larger tree or, as seems more likely, that one has developed from layered roots of branches of the other, and the article points out that ‘the architecture of the above ground roots is highly suggestive of linkage’.

Yew trees at Borrowdale - Fraternal Four:

Tree ID Location Photo Yews recorded Girth
88 Borrowdale - Fraternal Four Ancient 7m+ 752cm at 60cm - view more info
97 Borrowdale - Fraternal Four Ancient 5m-7m 506cm at 30cm - view more info
626 Borrowdale - Fraternal Four Ancient 4m-5m 447cm at 30cm - view more info
102 Borrowdale - Fraternal Four Images Currently Unavailable Lost No data available - view more info