Giant Redwoods

A recent study, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, has shown that the giant redwood, Sequoiadendron giganteum, is doing better in the UK than in their ancestral home, California.

There are now more specimens here than in the Golden State where forest fires and drought have put the trees’ future in jeopardy.  Fewer than 80,000 giant redwoods are thought to be standing on their original range on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada where they are now listed as endangered.  This compares with an estimated 500,000 in Britain including the magnificent tree in the Logie House gardens.

The earliest recorded introduction into the UK is 1853.  William Lobb, seasoned plant collector for the Veitch nurseries in London, visited San Francisco in 1852 where he had heard tales of the mammoth conifers.  He knew that these enormous trees would trigger an exciting craze in the highly competitive British horticultural circles so he was keen to see the trees and be able to collect seed, shoots and seedlings to grow in the UK.  He found around 90 towering trees and reported that a felled tree had measured 300’ with a diameter of over 29’ near its base.  A section of this hollowed out (and carpeted) slice of trunk could comfortably accommodate a piano with an audience of 40.

Within two years thousands of saplings were being snatched up by wealthy Victorians to adorn great British estates.  The larger-than-life conifer, so symbolic of the vast American wilderness, suddenly became a status symbol in Britain

The UK’s oldest giant redwoods are thought to be at Benmore Botanic Garden in Argyll but they are not the tallest trees – that honour goes to the coastal redwood, Sequoia sempervirens – but their trunks are fatter, making them bigger overall.  The UK’s largest specimen, standing at nearly 55 metres tall, is found at Center Parcs Longleat Forest but this is still small compared with the oldest US trees which can reach 90 metres tall and live for 30,000 years.  The trees which were measured for the study were mostly found to be growing at rates close to those in California.

“For these UK trees, the next 40 metres will take another 1500 years,” said Professor Mat Disney of University College London, senior author of the study.  “To get there, you’ve got to make sure you’re not struck by lightning, cut down or blown over.”

Measurements were taken of trees at Wakehurst botanical gardens in West Sussex, Havering Country Park in Essex and Benmore. 

The red spongey bark of the Sequoidendron giganteum is equally as magnificent as the rest of the tree.  You can grab chunks of it and think it will peel off, but it is thick and solid, and at one with the tree often developing deep holes that are used by nesting and roosting birds.

We have had success growing Wellingtonias from seed collected from the giant at Logie.  These have been planted in arboreta and gardens across Scotland and will, hopefully, continue to thrive for thousands of years!

Be sure to visit the Logie House Gardens giant redwoods when you're next visiting! 

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Giant Redwoods

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.