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The Discovery of Medieval Trees continues!

Whilst surveying for ancient trees in Herefordshire, volunteer Verifier Brian Jones discovered this remarkable burred oak pollard, on private land at Tregate Castle, close to the Welsh border.

The tree stands now hidden amongst a young plantation and appears to have been on the edge of a former fish pond.

Oak with girths of nine metres or more are generally considered to be medieval, survivors of ancient wild woodland, before a time when oak were plentiful and not planted.

The total number of these trees varies slightly, depending upon measurements and tree form but there are at least 115 known nine metre+ oak in England (Aljos Farjon), more so than in the rest of Europe.

Wales can boast a further 15, Scotland six, whilst there are two in the whole of Ireland.

And, you would think, that by now, every one of these grand old trees would be known and recorded by someone. Brian’s discovery and those of other volunteers, who continue to record on the Ancient Tree Inventory, prove just how wrong this is.

Herefordshire has more nine metre + oak than any other county and Brian’s tree is now their 21st big ancient oak. Whilst the most prolific individual site for these trees is Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, with seven oak and now Blenheim Park, Oxfordshire, thanks to recent surveys by Aljos Farjon, is now second best with 5 oak.

Uncovering our medieval landscape is one of the added pleasures of tree hunting. So, just when you thought the work in recording these ancient trees was nearly complete, think again and go hunting today!