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Anger over fallen 1,000-year Oak

Created on 21/02/2018 @ 11:19
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In its shadows it would have witnessed numerous border wars, so it is sad news to learn that a tree planted up to 1,000 years ago has finally succumb to the weather.

The Buttington Oak was discovered in a sorry state last September by ‘Tree Hunter’ Rob McBride, with half of the tree breaking away due to the gale force winds that had hit the area over the previous 12 months.

Unfortunately, the storms this January have finished it off, but it shouldn’t have happened according to Rob (pictured) who said that Britain is losing too many of its historical trees.

“Something must be done now to protect these culturally significant heritage trees before we lose any more,” said Rob. “Simple, low cost solutions could have been found for these fallen giants. Pollarded trees are ones that man has cut and worked for many hundreds of years. They are not if you like, ‘natural trees’ so we have a continued duty to work on these for their lasting protection.”

He believes that the Buttington Oak should have been properly assessed by a suitable ancient tree expert, with a reduction to the crown to the west of the tree carried out, a sensible root protection zone set out and even some form of propping installed to prevent its demise.

With an 11.3m girth, the tree is thought to have been the second largest oak in Wales (pictured in its heyday). It could have been planted by local people to mark the battle of Buttington, or to remind travellers of where the Offa’s Dyke is located.

Rob hopes that this high profile case will encourage new legislation to protect our historical trees.

“We urgently need what I like to call a ‘soft brush’ protection system,” he said. “This is a system that is not too onerous on the tree owner whilst at the same time affording proper protection to the tree. Moreover, correct technical advice and funding options that enable the trees to be managed appropriately.

“It need not cost the earth to provide this system or its outputs. Money maybe tight in recent years, but do we really want to keep losing our amazing shared arboreal heritage for what is essentially, small amounts of funding?”

PICTURES (by @thetreehunter Rob McBride... Down and out… the Buttington Oak.


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