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Issue 55 - The Lonely Tree

Scotland Magazine Issue 55
February 2011

 

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The Lonely Tree

As you drive along the A82, through the great, wild expanse of desolate Rannoch Moor, the iconic profile of Buachaille Etive Mor, emerging dramatically ahead, is what immediately catches your eye. But sitting in splendid isolation, a few hundred metres from the road, is one singular, dead tree. It rises to around 10 feet in height and its crooked, twisted branches strike for the sky providing an amazing focal point for any photograph. The tree has also become a mini tourist attraction in its own right with a stunning view of Glencoe’s muscular mountains rising in the distance.

I have often wondered why this lonely tree has survived on the moor. It may be a relic of the great Caledonian Forest which blanketed Rannoch Moor many centuries ago but why the tree still stands I do not know, particularly as it continues to endure the extreme weather that the exposed terrain of Rannoch Moor witnesses. Recently some of the branches have fallen to the ground and I am unsure how long the tree will stand but I will continue to visit, whenever I travel along the road, to stand beside it and share the exemplary view.