Bizarre: Oldest tree in Britain changes sex

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Britain, Nov 3: As bizarre as it seems, the oldest Fortingall Yew tree in Britain is changing its sex! Considered to be a 'male' till date, scientists spotted three berries on the topmost branches of the tree recently.

This is something that only female Yew trees do. The tree is located in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall, Perthshire.

United Kingdom

Dr Max Coleman of the Royal Botanical Garden has said that yew trees are known to change sex in a couple of years. This is precisely why the discovery of the process is special.

The tree is said to be 3000 to 5000 years old and is considered to be one of the oldest living object in Europe. The trunk is said to have lost its centre and side and the tree is protected by a new wall.

Coleman further added that it is easy to spot a Yew tree and identify whether it is a male or a female in autumn. "males have tiny things that produce pollen and females have bright red berries from autumn into winter," he said.

"This process may have happened before but we know the Fortingall Yew has been classed as male for hundreds of years through records. The sex change isn't the amazing bit in this case, it's the fact it's this particular tree."

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