The BeechHill hotel was the latest venue for the search for Derrys Oldest Oak Tree....I was joined by the guys from Maybrook Adult Training Centre...and we found a whopper...a seriously big oak which measured 630cm around....now this is the second biggest we've found so far, the 665cm oak in Ardmore House leads the charts so far...
on my quest to find Derrys oldest Oak I took a ramble through Prehen estate with Damian and George from Prehen Historical Society, we were also joined by Gerald McGill.
We looked at all the oaks in the Ancient Carriageway and went rambling through the woodland, but alas nothing too ancient....but a few good specimens around the 420cm mark...
Would the ancient woodland around Ashbrook House be home to Derrys oldest oak? That was the question that the kids from Clooney After Schools club went to answer...
They explored every corner of the Ashbrook woodland...and through every puddle and stream! but alas no giant oaks...but some amazing Beech trees and wonderful bluebells. Thanks to Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership and Ashbrook House for organising the outing...kids had a blat!! Although I will admit that as soojn as the bus stopped at Clooney on the way back I ran for my car...before parents could get a hold of me!! more pics to follow!!
I had some amazing help from Gemma and Kieran in finding this monster of an oak tree, on my quest to find Derrys oldest oak, a whopping 667cm around the trunk....the biggest one so far!!
Located beside Ardmore House in the Faughan Valley, its a cracker
Derry-Londonderry...call it what you may, but the name comes from the word meaning 'oak grove' in old irish....so the question I asked today on BBC Radio Foyle is "Where is the oldest Oak in Derry?"
What got me thinking was this story about the oldest oak tree in wales, some 1200 years old, which was blown down last week...imagine 1200 years old...amazing.
So Derry being named after the oaks...surely we must have some pretty old ones here...right?
Well I asked about and no-one knows the exact age of derrys oldest oak tree, nor where it is....some suggest Boom Hall, SOme suggect Downhill, some suggest Limavady, some suggest Prehen but the fact is that there has never been a difinitive decision made.
Now we can estimate the trees age by using the Tree Age Formula, but the best we can go is make an approximate, but there are so many factors that affect the size fo a tree such as location, exposure, soil, nutrients, water etc etc that its at best sketchy. But the process of using an Increment Borer we could work out the exact age of a tree, there are experts based in Queens University Belfast who do this kind of test.
Seo the question is....Where is Derrys oldest Oak Tree?
Suggestions please.....or better still take a pic and email it to me firstname.lastname@example.org and then we can put together a likely top 5 and then get the experts in to once and for make a definitive decision...
the woodland trust have an ancient tree map, but its pretty poorly completed, we'll add all our findings to this, I've also asked National Trust Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Holywell Trust, Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership and others for help in this...
The floor is yours folks...lets have the suggestions....could your parish/townland be home to Derrys oldest Oak??
here's a piece from RF from years ago...
and check out this list of the oldest trees in the world
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