Strong Winds Claim Britain's Oldest Oak Tree
The incredible life of the 1,285-year-old Pontfadog oak has come to an end.
Unlike other natural wonders, this one succumbed not to manmade folly, but to the forces of Mother Nature herself after strong gale force winds toppled the tree Wednesday.
“I know there has been talk about having it somehow re-erected but unfortunately I don’t think that is possible,” Woodland Trust’s Shaun Burkey said of tree, located in Pontfadog, Wales. “The tree has been completely severed at the base so, in this instance, it is not possible for it to be re-erected.
“There is a process called phoenix trees which can be grown again and yew trees are particularly good at that but in this case that won’t happen.”
Ironically, a group of ancient tree experts visited the tree just last year and suggested some $8,600 in measures to protect it. Those actions were never taken due to a lack of funding.
“I’m afraid the tree is no more,” owner Diane Coakley-Williams wrote on Facebook. “Lots of people had nice days out. But no one wanted to help preserve it.”
According to legend, the tree was used as a meeting place for Welsh armies before battles against the English. Featuring a 42ft. girth, Welsh history expert Mark Williams believes it may have been one of the oldest oaks in the world.
“Although it has been said since it came down the tree was about 1,200 years old I believe it may be even older,” he told the Shropshire Star. “I remember there was a millennium project done on it in 2000 and at that time experts suggested it may be even about 1,700 years.”