Dramatic champion trees are to be found at Drum Manor Forest park near Cookstown. Drum is a relatively small forest park, meticulously well kept, with lakes, gardens, and a caravan site rated among the top 100 in the UK. It is based on the old Manor House, which only has walls and a tower remaining. What was once a grand ballroom is now a garden, with flowers, shrubs and even a bridge.
Right beside the car park and the remains of the Manor House is the vast Western Hemlock Tsuga heterophylla. It is the trunk that dominates, 23’ 11” round with remarkable grey lattice or diamond patterned bark.
Above, a mass of branches bear heavy foliage in a huge tree which can only be appreciated by standing back and looking at it from the car park.
This giant of a Hemlock gives an overwhelming feeling of size and sheer bulk. In terms of buildings, it would be not so much a tall thin skyscraper as a tower block.