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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Cult of the named tree

Not our area but still interesting for what it reveals about our blinkered sense of trees.

This is the New Forest and on the O/S map there is indicated the "Knightwood Oak", the biggest Oak in the New Forest at 25ft in girth and estimated at 600 years old. It has its own car park nearby and is specially ring fenced (a bit garden fence-ish) with historical notices. It is impressive and is obviously a lapsed pollard.

Knightwood Oak
Yet not 100 yards away there is this ancient centuries old tree, not named so not regarded, but just as interesting as the Knightwood Oak. It is hidden away and can only be sensed and not seen.
But if you look beyond the smokescreen of garden fences and nameboards, there are plenty of these other wonders in the woodland. This particular Oak was an open grown pollard in wood pasture until its space has been allowed to be invaded by young conifers.

Find the Ancient Oak
Here it is
Haloing round the Oak by removing conifer and Beech saplings will help it survive. Without any intervention its death will be premature. I always find it useful to look in the opposite direction to signboards and notices, where there is often far more interesting things to discover. Such as this Beech and Oak, again only yards away from Knightwood Oak but with no information board informing anyone what is going on. Yet the page from a 30 year old booklet describes it well.
Inosculation--a new word for me

Old booklet describes it.
It's an interesting world out there


  1. Inosculation! Great word. I'm off on holiday next week to Upper Teesdale, where there is a great example of this with an oak and a beech. Also, more local, in Milnrow, I know of a hawthorn and elder in a similar loving embrace.

  2. Great info Phillip. We were in that very spot last autumn!
    The fungi were fantastic. And I saw a great white fallow buck with wide antlers leaping away in a magical moment.