The Fortingall Yew is an ancient European yew (Taxus baccata) in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland. Modern expert estimates have put its age at between 1,500 and 3,000 years. It may be the oldest tree in Britain. The yew's once massive trunk (16 metres, or 52 feet in girth when it was first taken notice of in writing, in 1769) with a former head of unknown original height, is split into several separate stems, giving the impression of several smaller trees, with loss of the heartwood rings that would establish its true age. This is a result of the natural decay of the ancient heartwood, which reduced the centre of the trunk down to ground level by 1770. Other than this the tree is still in good health and may last for many more centuries. By 1833 it was noted that "large arms had been removed and even masses of the trunk, carried off, to make drinking-cups and other curiosities. It is protected by a low wall erected in 1785 to preserve it but it can still be easily viewed. The yew is male.
Clippings from the tree are to be taken to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh to form part of a mile long hedge. The purpose of this "Yew Conservation Hedge Project" is to maintain the DNA of Taxus baccata from ancient specimens in the UK as, worldwide, the trees are threatened by felling and disease