The Sycamore Gap tree, which was felled earlier this year, could continue its life via its seeds and cuttings collected from the site where it was cut down.
The National Trust has today announced that seeds and cuttings taken from the 200-year-old tree which grew in Northumberland National Park, are showing “positive signs of being viable for propagating”.
Andy Jasper, Director of Gardens and Parklands at the National Trust explained that work to continue the tree’s life is taking place in the charity’s specialist rare plant propagation nursery.
Jasper said the charity is “encouraged by positive signs of life, and are hopeful that over 30 per cent of the mature seeds and half of the cuttings (scions) will be viable, which means we can hopefully grow new descendants from the tree in the future.”
“Over the next year, we’ll be doing all we can to nurture the seeds and cuttings, in the hope that some will grow into strong, sturdy saplings – providing a new future for this much-loved tree.”
Jasper said it was also possible that the trunk of the original tree will regrow, but that it would be unclear if this is possible for up to three years.
The National Trust and Northumberland National Park are still finalising a tribute to the legacy of the Sycamore Gap tree, with more details set to be announced early in the new year.
Tony Gates, Chief Executive, Northumberland National Park Authority said: “We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we work behind the scenes and take a considered approach with our partners on what the next steps will be.
“Everyone involved is keen to engage with the public in a meaningful way, to do the right thing for nature and people and ensure, as we have always said, that the legacy of Sycamore Gap is one that is positive and heartfelt.”
The partnership is also inviting the public to submit their photos and memories of the tree, which will be shared in a temporary reflection space at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre – the Northumberland National Park Authority’s visitor hub close to where the tree stood.
Historic England is also assisting the partnership on dating the tree. Mike Collins from Historic England said: “We are conducting a scientific analysis using a segment of the fallen tree to help date it more accurately, and we hope to have the results soon.”