Saturday, 19 September 2009
The Radley Oak Revisited
A few years ago I was privileged enough to inspect this tree, The Radley Oak. It is situated within the grounds of a private boys school in Oxfordshire however a public footpath passes the tree.
The tree has been aged at 1,100 years, which should be easily achievable by English Oaks, Quercus robur, however due to land management techniques such as ploughing up to the bases of trees, and livestock grazing causing soil compaction around trees root systems few are able to.
This is the first time I have seen it in leaf and I was amazed at how healthy the crown is. The tree has extensive heart rot and you can climb inside the main stem and stand up within it.
Amazingly there is no current protection for such trees. The tree survives despite its environmental surroundings. A golf course runs through the grounds and there is a putting green a few feet from the base of the tree. The intensive management of the adjacent grass and compaction caused by people walking over its root system is detrimental.
While visiting I picked up a few acorns that had fallen and intend to grow them.
To give you an idea of scale the next picture shows someone standing next to the tree.