The tree is a Wellingtonia which is native to California. The tree was named after The Duke of Wellington but the proper name for it is a Giant Sequoia. It can grow to almost 300 feet high and the oldest known tree is 3,500 years old.
The Frenchay Wellingtonia was planted by Francis Tuckett (1803-68) in the 19th century. Tuckett lived in The Old House next to the Unitarian Chapel and was a skilled horticulturist.
In recent years some self sown seedling trees have been allowed to develop near the tree and they are now causing the Wellingtonia’s branches to grow on one side only. Thanks to the generosity of a local resident, Winterbourne Parish Council is arranging to have the other trees taken out to allow the Wellingtonia to develop more symmetrically.
Trees will be planted further from the Wellingtonia to compensate for the trees which have been removed.