The Marton oak
The UK, and England especially, is abundant in old oak trees. Of these it’s hard to know which is the oldest but a good contender is the Marton Oak in Cheshire. With a girth of over 14 metres this huge tree is thought to be over 1,000 years old.
Other oaks around this age include the Major Oak, the Old Man of Calke and the Bowthorpe Oak.
The Preston twins
Until earlier this year the Preston twins in Brighton were the largest and oldest English elm trees in Europe. Unfortunately after some heavy winds just one tree now remains with the title.
It’s hoped the injured twin will grow back over the next 30 years or so.
At around 500 years old the twins have survived Dutch elm disease, which arrived here in 1967. Unlike other areas in Brighton the infected branches of elm trees were pruned out, allowing elm trees to survive.
More important trees
These are just some of the oldest trees we have, but there are lots more trees that are important to us. Ancient and veteran trees are important ecologically, but other trees are culturally valuable too.
The Ancient Tree Inventory has recorded 160,000 ancient, veteran and notable trees, but it’s not complete. Recording trees on the inventory is the first step towards better protection for these trees.
Is there a tree which is important to you?