The aboricultural and Alpine teams tackle the removal of one of 35 large trees lost on the 3rd. Quercus robur, the Common Oak (Pedunculate Oak, English Oak) was 21 meters tall close to the mature average size of 30 meters. Quercus robur is native to Asia Minor, North Africa, and the Caucasus. This plant was added to our records in 1969 as we computerised our record system, it was one of the old estate trees.
It is not just the tree that has been lost; it would have been home to many other things. The oak supports the highest biodiversity of insect herbivores of any British plant, over 400 species. The Oaks play a large role in folk lore – the traditional yule log, kept from one year to another to warm the Christmas celebrations, was traditionally hewn from oak. The old saying “Oak before ash, in for a splash…”, meaning if oak buds appeared first the summer would be dry, can often be true. Until the middle of the 19th century when iron became the material of choice for building ships, it was estimated that it took 2,000 Oak trees to make a single ship!
This tree will be missed in many ways. But timber from it will be reused in the Garden.