Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest

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edfrank
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Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest

Post by edfrank » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:14 pm

Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest
29 August 2012 Last updated at 14:20 ET
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-19402113


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A 200-year-old tree on a Wiltshire estate has been officially declared the tallest oak in the UK.

The 132.5ft (40.4m) English oak, in the grounds of the National Trust Stourhead estate, was measured by an expert on behalf of The Tree Register charity.

Standing in a clump of tall oaks, the tree's growth has been put down to rich soil and its need to compete for light.

Alan Power, estate manager at Stourhead, said having the tallest oak in the country was "very special".

The champion tree, on the 2,650-acre estate, stands on a sheltered slope surrounded by a clump of six very tall old oak trees.

But unlike other long-lived slow-growing oaks, it is tall and slim, with a trunk circumference of just over three metres.
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Larry Tucei
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Re: Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:39 pm

Ed, Wow that is the tallest Oak in England. I have a new appreciation for the American Oaks in central Ms that equal the champ’s height that I have measured. Also the Oaks that I helped measure in Congaree. Larry

Jeroen Philippona
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Re: Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest

Post by Jeroen Philippona » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:28 pm

Hi Larry,

This oak seems not to be very tall to you, compared to the up to 160 ft oaks in Congaree, but that is an old growth area much more to the south. The UK has no old growth forests left (the nearest old growth oak forest is the Bialowieza forest in Eastern Poland), and, unlike France and Germany, it has no tradition of old planted oak forests for high quality woodproduction.

In the Bialowieza old growth forest there are may oaks of 40 - 42 m (131 - 138 ft) and the laser record is 43.6 m (143 ft), wich is till now the laserrecord for Europe for that species. In the Netherlands the two tallest measured oaks are a Quercus robur of 41.8 m and one of 40.0 m (137.14 and 131 ft). In Belgium the record is 40.6 m (133.2 ft).
In France the tallest lasermeasured oaks are Quercus petraea, in the Forest of Bercé 48.4 m (158.8 ft), in the Forest of Tronçais 43.4 m (142.4 ft). Those are all planted forests, with a known planting history from the time of King Louis XIV, 1680 - 1700.
In Germany Kouta measured 44.6 m (146.3 ft) for the same species.
The two species are very related, there are some ecological differences but Q. petraea indeed tends to grow taller, with longer trunks.
The tallest American northern red oak (Q. rubra) we measured in Europe till now is 39.6 m (130 ft) in the Netherlands.

Jeroen

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:38 pm

Hi Jeroen, What I find interesting is that I've measured some Oaks in Central Ms that are reaching that height but are not yet 100 years old. I wonder how tall would you think the old Forests of England might have been. I guess the northern climate keeps the trees from reaching heights of 150? Perhaps we will have a NTS, ETS, (European Tree Society) gathering and compare notes someday. That would be to cool! Larry

Jeroen Philippona
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Re: Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest

Post by Jeroen Philippona » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:01 am

Larry,

I think that in the best locations, sheltered like the Stourhead location, with good soil and watersupply, Q. robur in old growth forests in England could grow to 140 ft and Q. petraea perhaps to 150 ft.
The forest with the tallest Q. petraea is in Western France, latitude 47° 48′ 23.19″ N and 0° 23′ 17.63″ E, wereas Stourhead is near Coordinates: 51.090°N 2.266°W (see website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stourhead and a page I made on trees of Stourhead: http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/gbr/e ... stourhead/).
Perhaps the old growth forests in France had taller oaks than in England, because of the longer, warmer growing season, but only in sheltered locations with optimum watersuppley. Your MS location has another climate at latitude 30 - 35 N. Mid France is the same latitude as Seattle or northern Maine and the UK lies more to the north than Vancouver. Indeed we should have a world NTS meeting!
In Europe there is a European Champion Tree Forum but it is still in its childhood, because of the many countries and languages.

Jeroen

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KoutaR
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Re: Wiltshire oak tree declared UK's tallest

Post by KoutaR » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:42 pm

A world NTS meeting would be cool, indeed - of course with Matt from NZ and Darrin from Malaysia. But certainly very difficult to organize. I have long thought it would be nice to participate in your rendezvous (of course, if you accept a foreigner) but they are always on September or October when travelling is almost impossible for me.

In Europe in addition to the ECTF, there is an informal group of over 10 laser measurers communicating through monumentaltrees.com site.

Kouta

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