Scotland's favourite trees compete for crown

Birnam Oak Image copyright Woodland Trust
Image caption The Birnam Oak is thought to be the last survivor of the oakwood mentioned in Macbeth

Trees including a bicycle-eating sycamore and an oak that inspired a famous fiddler are on the shortlist of Scotland's favourite trees.

Twenty-eight of the UK's finest trees have been unveiled by the Woodland Trust to compete in the European tree of the year contest.

There were almost 200 nominations from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The winner will be chosen in a public vote.

And it will go on to compete in the European tree of the year contest.

The Birnam Oak in Perthshire is thought to be the last survivor of the ancient medieval oakwood mentioned in Macbeth.

Embedded bike

It is believed Shakespeare was inspired when he visited the area in 1599 as part of a troupe of travelling players.

The oak had to endure flooding after Storm Desmond, and had some branches removed earlier this year, but needs more work.

The Craigends Yew in Houston, Renfrewshire, is one of the largest and oldest in Scotland.

It is thought to be up to 700 years old. The circumference of the tree's crown is 100m (328ft).

The Bicycle Tree at Brig o' Turk, in the Trossachs, is a sycamore which self-seeded in the late 1800s.

Image copyright Woodland Trust
Image caption The Bicycle tree has devoured a bike, and anchor and a bridle

It sprouted up near a blacksmith's workshop and has devoured a number of items including an anchor and a horse's bridle.

It gets its name from the bicycle embedded in it, which legend has it was left hanging over a branch by a local man who went off to serve in the First World War, never to return.

Local people have succeeded in getting a preservation order on the tree.

The Morinda Spruce is in Hopetoun near Edinburgh.

This tree was planted in 1824 from a seed collected in the Himalayas which was then grown into seedlings and grafted on to Norway Spruce roots by the Earl of Hopetoun's head gardener James Smith.

The "Ding Dong" Tree is found at Prestonpans Primary School in East Lothian.

It is a copper beech which the school's head teacher said was so woven into the life of the school it was almost like having a member of staff.

Its name comes from a tig game invented by pupils which involves the tree. Its canopy makes it an outdoor classroom and it is the subject of many science and art projects.

Niel Gow's Oak in Dunkeld, is a tree that inspired the famous fiddler.

According to legend, he wrote many of his strathspeys and reels, while his patron the Duke of Atholl would stand on the other side of the River Tay listening to the music.

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