I just climbed this for a birthday treat, having checked it out last week on a beautiful sunny day when my gear was an hour’s drive away at home…. It is the largest Douglas Fir in Britain, described here as
“…believed to have been planted by the Earl of Portsmouth in the pinetum of Eggesford House from the first seeds sent to Britain by David Douglas. It was already the biggest known in Britain by 1867. Heavy low limbs suggest the site was quite exposed when the tree was young, but it is now deeply sheltered by Forestry Commission plantings now up to 51m tall all around it. It is just possible to thread the tape between the low limbs and to obtain a fairly meaningful girth.
The girth of the tree, measured at a height of 1.20 m, is 7.80 m (May 2013, TheTreeRegisterOwenJohnson). Its height is exactly 41 m (May 2013, Laser with Two-point measurement (e.g. Nikon Forestry 550/Pro) - sine method, TheTreeRegisterOwenJohnson).”
The top of the rope in this image shows where I was when I reached the end of my 42m rope coming down…
I’m proud of myself for climbing it very respectfully - using a tube cambium saver all the way up and all the way down again, and not breaking a single branch or twig.
There are a number of secondary growths from near the base that are each the size of mature firs, so you can climb them each individually or switch around in the canopy. It’s like an antique playground.
See the rest of the pics in the gallery below.