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20th June 2019

Caring for Ancient and Veteran Trees

Our managing director Rudi recently spent three fascinating days attending an advanced course for trainers on Valuing and Managing Ancient and Veteran Trees. Ancient trees are often notable, local landmarks with links to the history and legends of their area. The course included a visit to The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. Thought to be between 800 to 1000 years old, legend suggests the ancient oak not only provided Robin Hood with shelter, it was also the place where he and his Merry Men slept! 

Unsurprisingly, ancient and veteran trees need careful management, both in terms of the trees themselves and the land around them. In the coming months, Rudi will be running a one-day training course on valuing and managing veteran trees. Open to landowners and managers, arborists, foresters, ecologists, landscape professionals and anybody with an interest in these special trees, we will post more information on the course in the Autumn.

What are Ancient & Veteran trees? The Ancient Tree Forum describes Ancient trees as those that have reached a great age in comparison with others of the same species. So, for example, a Birch tree might be considered ancient if it has reached 150 years, but a Yew tree has to reach 800 before it can be termed ancient! They also tend to have three key features:

  • a low and fat squat shape;
  • a wide trunk compared with others of the same species; and
  • a hollowing of the trunk (not always visible).  

Veteran trees are not necessarily old but, due to local conditions, climate or stresses, have some or all of the characteristics of ancient trees. 

Ancient and veteran trees give variety and interest to the local landscape, providing cultural and environmental benefits such as providing species rich habitats and food sources.

More information on Ancient and Veteran Trees can be found on the Ancient Tree Forum web site. It includes a helpful index of known ancient trees in your area. For example, you could visit the Royal Oak in Richmond Park, which is estimated to be around 750 years old, or pay a visit to Petworth Park in West Sussex, which has recorded 726 ancient and veteran trees at the site, including oak, small leaf lime and sweet chestnut.

If you think that you have an ancient or veteran tree on your property and need some advice or are interested in attending a course, please get in touch with Tree Survive.

Ancient Oak Tree Surgeon

Tree Survive - My Local Tree Surgeon Near Me.

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