A 200-YEAR-OLD sycamore that owes its existence to Napoleon was last night named Scotland’s Tree of the Year ahead of five rivals.
The Big Tree in Kirkwall, Orkney, was planted around 1815 by a landowner who made his fortune during the Napoleonic Wars.
Once a feature of a fine walled garden, the tree now stands in the main shopping street.
The 30ft sycamore was named at a Scottish Parliament reception in a competition run by The Woodland Trust to celebrate the country’s best loved trees.
Woodland Trust Scotland director Carol Evans said: “The Big Tree may be a comparatively modest specimen but it has a big place in Kirkwall’s heart. A worthy winner.”
The Big Tree was planted during the Napoleonic Wars, when international trade collapsed and the kelp industry boomed on Orkney, producing ash to be made into soap and glass.