The Veteran Tree Project

Get Involved


Do you know of any significant trees across the region that might meet the criteria of Ancient, Veteran or notable trees? If you do, then we would like to hear from you. If a tree has a special significance for you or your family or possibly the area you live, again we would love to know and tell that story. The tree will then be recorded by our volunteers, its details added to our data base and then celebrated in our gallery. Please send us your tree story today!!

Who are tireless tree enthusiasts and good listener’s. Must be willing to go out in all weathers, hear peoples’ stories and measure and then record those nominated trees. You do not have to be tree experts to volunteer for this role as training will be provided. Please volunteer today!

Drystone_Wall_veteran tree project



To help you nominate your tree please find an explanation of those tree categories

St Cuthberts Yew ancient tree

Ancient Trees

The term ancient tree refers to those trees that have reached a great age in comparison to others of that species. For example, a birch tree would be considered ancient at 150 years old, where as an oak not so until 400 years of age. A yew tree that can live for thousands of years would not be defined as ancient until it reached at least 800 years of age. These trees would generally have typical characteristics such as being low, fat and squat, having a wide and often hollow trunk.


Veteran Trees

Unlike an ancient tree these trees can be of any age, however it is generally accepted that in order to qualify, these trees will normally measure 3M girth when measured at 1.5M. These trees will also however show ancient characteristics. This could be due to age but could also be as a result of natural damage, environmental impact or the result of previous management practice. Ancient trees are all veterans but not all veterans are ancient.

veterantreeproject northumberland

Heritage Trees

These are trees that are part of our culture and history. They might be connected to specific people or events, such as the major Oak in Sherwood Forest, or the Collingwood Oaks in Northumberland. They may also be of botanical significance such as the William Cleughs pines in Northumberland.


Notable trees

These are trees that are significant locally because they might be special or relatively large compared to other trees around them. They are normally mature, but not always. An example might be a Wellingtonia which is impressively large even when quite young.