Letter | Published:

The Selborne Yew-tree

Nature volume 63, page 491 (21 March 1901) | Download Citation



GILBERT WHITE, in his “Antiquities of Selborne,” Chap. v. (Chandos Classics Edition) mentions a male yew growing in the churchyard. He believed it to be some centuries old and states its girth as 23 ft. This afternoon I have, with Mr. Lewis Eynon, remeasured the trunk and find it to be 25 ft. 6 in. The stem of this magnificent tree is squat and rather bulging, and as White mentions its girth as something extraordinary, it is to be presumed that his measurement was made at the point of maximum diameter—about four feet from the ground. This is the height at which our figure was obtained, and we used a steel tape taken right round without regarding irregularities of surface. The increase in girth will be seen to correspond to a radial growth of 4.7 in in the 120 years or so since White's time. I know not whether recent measurements of this tree have been published, but the fact seems worthy of record.

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  1. 75 Barry Road, Dulwich, S.E. March 16.



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