Castle Eden Dene

Tree ID: 4893

Yews recorded: Ancient 4m-5m

Tree girth: No data

Girth height: not measured

Tree sex: unspecified

Date of visit: No data

Source of earliest mention: 1848: Topographical Dictionary of England


Paul Gereenwood: ‘These yew groves are featured at the central 54 acres of the Dene as the very name ‘Eden’ derives from the Saxon Yoden meaning a ‘valley of yew’. So when the Saxons named the place over 1000 years ago it was already a noticeable and renowned yew habitat. Given that parts have remained undisturbed since, there is no reason to dismiss out of hand that some of the trees originally witnessed by the Saxons – or earlier British tribes – may still be there. However, despite the care and attention given to the yew their number are not considered to contain exceptionally old individuals in the opinion of an ex-warden stated in 2000, simply because they are too small. However this opinion, in all fairness, was cited without awareness of C.E.R.G.’s groundbreaking research and therefore shed a new light of possibilities upon the age of some of the valley’s yew, and showing a need for re-assessment of at least some of them by modern dendrological analysis. Certainly it is fairly obvious that in some parts of the valley there are small sapling yew of ‘young’ age (up to 300 years) grown naturally from seed dispersal by birds and rodents in a largely unmanaged woodland. In the main publicly accessible areas, however, there are no apparent large yew, with the maximum girth of most visible trees being around 10 – 12 ft (2.75 – 3.67 m.) and most below this. So on a ‘typical’ basis there appears to be no evidence to reasonably consider that yew growing there are over a millennium old. But then the yew at Markland Grips, as mentioned above, is both ‘small’ and ancient. And a significant factor at Castle Eden Dene which slows down yew growth may be that much of the yew population grows closely together creating competition for water and nutrients, but also in turn these groves are often shaded by taller deciduous trees for half the year at least in what is generally a very dense woodland’.

Image Currently Unavailable

Yew trees at Castle Eden Dene:

Tree ID Location Photo Yews recorded Girth
4893 Castle Eden Dene Images Currently Unavailable Ancient 4m-5m No data available - view more info