mrpb27

mrpb27

Posted on 09/04/2014


Photo taken on September  4, 2014



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pendunculate
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Major oak

Major oak
The Major Oak is a Quercus Robur, the English or pendunculate oak.

This forest veteran is a huge oak tree thought to be around 800 years old.
According to local lore, its hollow trunk was used as a hideout by Robin Hood’s men, though if Robin was – as legend suggests – active in the 12th or 13th century, this tree could only have been a sapling then. So it must have been another, much older oak that hid the outlaw.

Today, the world famous tree weighs an estimated 23 tonnes, its trunk circumference is 33 feet (10m) and its branches spread to over 92 feet (28m).

The earliest recorded name for this remarkable oak, dating back to the mid 18th century, was the Cockpen Tree.

The hollow interior is said to have been used to pen cockerels ready to be used in the now illegal sport of cock fighting. Later it was known as the Queen Oak.

In 1790, Major Hayman Rooke, a noted antiquarian from Mansfield Woodhouse, included the tree in his popular book about the ancient oaks of Sherwood. It thus became known as The Major‘s Oak, and later simply The Major Oak.

Because of its national importance, conservation measures to the tree have been carried out continually since 1908.

In Edwardian times, metal chains were used to support its weighty branches, and lead sheet attached to protect the trunk.

In the late seventies, these measures were replaced by large wooden struts, supporting the heaviest branches.

Today, slender steel poles prop the sprawling limbs of this forest giant. Tree surgeons check the oak periodically and carry out
remedial work as needed.

Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve contains some of the oldest trees in Europe, veteran oaks five centuries old and the world-famous Major Oak, still producing acorns after standing at the heart of the forest for an estimated 800 years!

The 450 acre country park is part of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, designated in 2002 by Natural England (website: www.naturalengland.org.uk), the Government agency responsible for safeguarding our natural environment.

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Trudy Tuinstra
Trudy Tuinstra
super
4 years ago.