The Fortingall Yew over 5000 years old

The Fortingall Yew, a heritage tree of international importance situated in the Highland Perthshire village of Fortingall, eight miles west of Aberfeldy in Scotland.

On a VERY windy day in October, I visited TheFortingall Yew in Glen Lyon the tree is at the geographical heart of Scotland and stands within Fortingall churchyard. It is thought to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old and has connections to early Christianity in Scotland. It is also believed to be one of the oldest living things in Europe. In 1769 the circumference of the yew’s multiple trunks was measured at 52 ft, but this has vastly reduced over time and what remains are the relics and offshoots of the original tree.

The tree is supposedly Pontius Pilate’s Birthplace, this from an early publication (Lloyd’sWeekly Newspaper)

“One of the strongest links with the past which can be found in this country is supplied by the obscure village of Fortingall, in Perthshire, which tradition points out as the birthplace of Pontious Pilate. Fortingall lies in a beautiful and sequestered mountain vale some ten miles west of Aberfeldy, in a district rich in memories of Finga), Wallace and Bruce. Near the village are the remains of a Roman camp, where, at the beginning of the Christian era, the soldiers of the Empire were posted to guard the passage from the Highlands through Glen Lyon. This encampment is probably not earlier than the time of Agricola, and before it was made the Scottish king Metellanus held his court at Fortingall, and received an embassy from Augustas. One of the ambassadors, we are told, was the father of Pontius Pilate, and here the future Governor of Judea is said to have been born shortly before the Nativity if our Saviour. The embassy* to Metellanus is sufficiently well authenticated in the following passage from Hollioshed.”

First potting for a Prunus Mahaleb

This tree is an air layer created by my great friend Hans van Meer, it’s been 4 years in the making and was styled by me in March this year. The potting took place as it was strong and ready to go into a bonsai pot. Prior to repotting work was done on the deadwood, it was ‘punky’ as they say in the States… so after cleaning and removing as much of the soft rotting wood, hardener was used to preserve what was left. This styling may appear strange to some but this tree is shown mostly in flower and the wiring is done to accentuate that.

 

A Review: Online Shohin Bonsai Course by Morten Albek

Morten Albek has a very relaxing voice perfect for introducing you to Shohin Bonsai, that combined with VERY high production values and detailed content make this course a pleasure to watch and understand.

The course starts with a 4-minute video overview of the course contents and from this short introduction, you quickly realise that the course will bring your shohin to a high level.

Pretty much most aspects of Shohin bonsai care and creations are covered including; Repotting, Pot selection, Wiring, styling, display and so much more.

I particularly liked the section on pot choice, Morten humorously stated that as bonsai artists we always buy beautiful pots even when we do not have a tree available to plant in them, this is so true! Did you know that the thickness of the pot wall affects the health of the tree due to heat retention? Morten explains in detail why!

Exhibiting bonsai seems like a ‘dark art’ to the inexperienced this section alone is worth signing up for. You can do that by clicking HERE