A man from Broomhill Farm based a short distance from Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders is attempting to defy odds and grow Scotland's tallest tree.

Aptly named ‘Big Yin’, this record attempt is made all the more unusual by the fact that nobody will live to see the day it reaches its record height. The planting took place on Broomhill Farm, by owner William Smillie and local growth expert Andrew Hodgson. The tree in question is a Giant Redwood, a variety which has been known to reach heights of 97m in their native California.

Sourced locally from Cheviot Trees, specialists across Europe in cell grown trees, this specimen is hoped to reach heights never been seen before and overtake the current record tree, a Douglas Fir in Reelrig Glen near Inverness, which currently stands at 66.4m. When asked about his undertaking William Smillie said: “I have been looking at leaving a legacy behind and what better way to do it than plant a giant tree which will be remembered for generations to come and help in our quest to offset carbon.

“After a chat with the local experts at Cheviot Trees they chose a specimen which they felt would have the best chance of overtaking any larger trees. With some growing advice from local expert Dr James Miller of Milne Graden West Mains, we have put together a growth plan which will enhance the growth over the initial stages of the tree's life, which included specially sourced manure from Rumbletonlaw Farm.

“Coupled with a unique microclimate at Broomhill, we should see a surge in growth in the initial years.”

The momentous occasion was marked on May 6, when the ground was broken in a planting ceremony involving local arborist Andrew Hodgson.

Andrew who travelled from Alnwick to be involved commented: “It’s a privilege to be involved in such a project. Coming from a family of champion growers from Ashington, I understand what it takes to grow a big tree. I can really see this succeeding and look forward to following the progress.

“But we will never live to see the result.”

The project will not be a quick one however, as the trees can take 200-300 years to grow to full size but may continue to grow for more than 3000 years, making them one of the oldest living organisms.

A special mention must be given to Tweed Forum which helped with their South of Scotland Tree planting grant that is in place to add biodiversity to the countryside.

To follow the regular progress of ‘Big Yin’ follow @broomhill_steading on Instagram.