This tree was admired by Thomas Pakenham, author of the wonderful book ‘Meetings With Remarkable Trees’. The pine Pinus sylvestris stands among woodland in the valley of the great Baronscourt estate in west Tyrone.
The champion pine was planted with other ornamental species when the lake side drive and gardens were landscaped. Over the years, it vanished from sight, submerged in a mini-forest of natural regeneration from a Western Hemlock planted nearby. Some years ago, this dense growth was thinned, and the pine rediscovered. It is now revealed in all its glory; shelter and rich soil have combined to produce a fine tall tree with a vigorous canopy.
Baronscourt has many other treasures: a wonderful Cedar of Lebanon thought to be 220 years old stands guard near the house; rare magnolia flower in the woods around the lake; the woods are home to scarce plants, lichens and animals including a good red squirrel population. There is a well-known garden centre on the main entrance road, and the grounds are open on occasion. Groups wishing to visit should contact the estate office.