Four of Britain's tallest trees in glen near Inverness

image copyrightFCS
image captionThe sheltered glen provides prime growing conditions for conifer trees

Conifers growing in the same Highland glen have been identified as being four of the tallest trees in Britain.

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) said a Douglas fir in Reelig Glen, near Inverness, was now Britain's tallest tree at 217.10ft (66.4m).

The fir is taller than Dughall Mor, a Douglas fir in the glen that had held the record as Britain's tallest. It is also the tallest conifer in Europe.

The other three Reelig trees all measure higher than 147.7ft (45m).

They are the tallest larch in Britain at 157,5ft (48m), a 154.2ft-high (47m) Norway spruce and Britain's tallest lime tree which stands at 150.11ft (46m).

Many of the glen's trees were planted in the 1880s.

FCS said the trees formed a grove of the largest concentration of trees exceeding 180ft (55m) anywhere in the British Isles.

Giles Brockman, environment manager for the commission's team in Inverness, Ross and Skye, said staff were beginning to wonder if the quality of the local water was a factor in the trees' growth.

He said: "We've always known that we have some of the finest air and richest soil up here, but we're beginning to think there might be something special about the waters in the Moniack Burn too."

image copyrightFCS
image captionThe glen has the largest concentration of trees exceeding 180ft (55m)
image copyrightIngram publishing/thinkstock
image captionNorth America is home to the world's tallest trees

Mr Brockman added: "It's quite something to have four of the tallest trees in Britain and to have one of those also hold the European title is pretty amazing.

"The glen has obviously provided some protection from the harshest of the elements to give all of these trees a good solid start in life, which has let them come on in leaps and bounds."

The tallest conifer was recorded in Reelig Glen last year during a survey and has been published in The Tree Register, a charity that collates and updates a database of notable trees throughout Britain and Ireland.

The world's tallest tree is a giant sequoia in the US called Hyperion. It stretches to 379.1ft (115.5m) tall.

Giant sequoias grow along North America's Pacific Ocean coast.

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