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Buttington Oak Splits in Storm

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:10 pm
by Larry Tucei
Buttington Oak 1.jpg
One of the largest Oaks in England lost part of it's trunk in a storm last year. It is reported to have been planted around 1000 years ago. It looks like 1/3 of the Trunk split after a storm.
Buttington Oak.jpg
Buttington Oak 2 .jpg
The photos illustrate that it was a Multi-Trunk specimen. If a core would be done on the collapsed trunk a better age estimate could be made. An Old Majestic Oak that has been around for a long time for sure- How long is only a guess without proof. Since we have been discussing Multi- Trunked specimens lately I thought I would post about this great Oak. ... ngton-oak/ Larry

Re: Buttington Oak Splits in Storm

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:13 pm
by JHarkness
That's sad about the tree, but the remaining tree should be able to survive for a while longer, english oak is exceptionally good at surviving with decay and open basal wounds.

Yes, clearly a double, why someone would think that it was one tree is beyond me. I agree, a core sample (if it's not too rotted) would be excellent, I don't believe many old english oaks have been cored. I have my doubts about the species' reported lifespan, one thousand would probably be pushing it. I would guess it's closer to our white oaks than what is reported, but then again, english oaks don't have to contend with our New England storms, hurricanes, nor'easters, microbursts, to name a few. Establishing some accurate cores from english oaks and identifying what bark and limb characteristics are present at various ages would be great to better understand the species.


Re: Buttington Oak Splits in Storm

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:44 am
by Jeroen Philippona
Hi all,

The story was still sadder, the second, bigger half of this oak also collapsed in February 2018. See: .
Indeed it was a double for sure. About the reported life span of English Oaks there are indeed many doubtful reports. Still, probably there are many more English Oaks in the UK than White Oaks in the US of over 400 years. This is because of the large numbers of open grown old Oaks in ancient cultural landscapes in the UK: Royal Hunting grounds and deer parks, old grazed parklands / open forests wich for centuries were grazen by cattle, old estates with deer parks and ornamental parklands, etc. The density of big old Oaks in England is much greater than anywere else in Europe. There were very few destructive wars in the UK compared to the continent. Also these old aristocratic lands and grazed open forests were much better preserved than in continental Europe. In Germany for example many of those grazed open forest lands were destroyed in the 18th and 19th centuries to make confer plantations for wood production.
So, in England alone are over 3200 Oaks (Quercus robur and Q. petraea combined) with a cbh of over 6 m (20 feet) and 115 with cbh over 9 m (30 ft). In all other European countries combined only around 100 Oaks with cbh of 30 feet and over have been counted (numbers of Russia are not known). In Germany, the country with the second largest number of big old Oaks, there are only 20 with cbs of over 30 feet.
About coring: there have been cored many big Oaks, but most of them are very hollow. So often only partial cores can be made. On Oaks cores without extrapolation have been made only to around 500 years.