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Ross Priory

Tree ID: 1999

Yews recorded: Ancient 4m-5m

Tree girth: 410cm

Girth height: at 100cm

Tree sex: unspecified

Date of visit: 23-Jun-99

Source of earliest mention: 1906: Scottish Field magazine


When he visited in 1999 a green wrought iron gateway led into and out of the yew walk. On this occasion Andy McGeeney noted ‘at least 16 big yews’ which he described as tall and fluted. The largest among them, growing on a raised area near the yew walk, was female with a girth of 4.10 at 1m. Girths of three further yews were noted, of 3.89, 3.79 and 2.66.
In 2002 Treefest Scotland described ‘an unusual collection of 19 yews’.
In 2019 Paul Greenwood made enquiries about the yew avenue at Ross Priory and was told it no longer existed. A visit to the site confirmed that the avenue seen in 1999 is gone. It had been largely replaced with a planted garden on both sides of the path. All that remained of the avenue were three yews, those closest to the house. There were other yews set back from the path in ornamental woodland and they seemed fine, including one large one. Girths of the yews seen range from around 150cm to about 400 cm. The largest yew noted was in woodland very near to the felled avenue. Enquiries with Ross Priory (taken over by Strathclyde University around 2009) as to what had happened to the yews gave the answer that they were removed because they were diseased – ‘which was regrettable but necessary’. Since yews are not prone to disease and the remaining yews in the area are fine, this is a most unsatisfactory explanation.

Yew trees at Ross Priory:

Tree ID Location Photo Yews recorded Girth
1999 Ross Priory Ancient 4m-5m 410cm at 100cm - view more info