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Didcot's oaks and other notable trees

Didcot's oaks
 and other notable trees

 
The most venerable and the most magnificent

TOP FIFTY

An ancient yew, the tallest trees, and the fifty largest/oldest oaks

MAP

 Click / tap pins or zoom in to see tree identity
Click icon at top left of map header to list and select trees
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To view the map full-screen, click the top right 'expand' icon.

 

ESTIMATING THE AGE OF AN OAK

The approximate age of some species of tree can be calculated from measuring girth – usually at 1.5m above ground level – sometimes referred to as CBH – Circumference at Breast Height. There are many factors influencing the relationship between girth and age – the host country's climate and how this compares to a tree's native country, soil conditions, sunlight, precipitation, shelter from wind and frost, and nearness of other trees that compete for sunlight and water. For these reasons, any estimate of age can only be approximate. I measured the girth of as many of the large oaks that are recorded on this website as I could, and are publicly accessible. The Woodland Trust publishes this tree age ready reckoner but is based on relatively few data points (as there are not many large trees for which the exact age is known) so I interpolated the data points on my graph below, and used this to derive all the estimated tree ages on this website. Below the graph is a calculator which automates the working of the graph, and enables the calculation of approximate oak age and date when the tree started growing.

Most measurements were carried out in 2020. In the case of oaks with multiple stems, I sent photographs to the Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Inventory expert, who has judged whether a tree has multiple stems, or whether it is two trees that have grown close together. It also appears that in the case of twin-stem trees, the girth of the largest stem is a reasonably accurate estimate of age, but that estimation of age from girth is an approximate science for all trees in any case, for the reasons stated above.
 

Oak girth in cm at 1.3m high

 

OLDEST – AN ANCIENT YEW

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   Click / tap to go to a map for each tree:
   Public access    Inaccessible

  THE YEW IN ALL SAINTS' CHURCHYARD 

 Lydalls Road

The yew near the entrance to All Saints' Church is said to be the second oldest yew in the UK, with different sources estimating its age at 1,000, 1,200 and 1,600 years old. The first part of the church dates from 1160. This tree has suffered from vandals and arson attacks over the years, but in an altered shape continues to survive. The yew is one of three trees in Didcot to be registered on the Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Inventory (the others being oaks 1 and 4 below) and is protected by TPO 80S04T5.

MORE INFO

All Saints' Church

Lydalls Road

TPO: 80S04T5 + Cons. Area

 

DIDCOT'S TALLEST TREES

The tallest tree in Didcot is probably at the Northbourne Centre, Church Street – a giant sequoia measuring (by trigonometry) about 25m (80 feet) high. The sequoia (also called Wellingtonia) is native to California, where specimens often grow over 80m (260 feet) tall. Didcot has several other similar trees in the Richmead estate west of Marsh Rec, but these are in private land.

One of the tallest Didcot trees of a species native to the UK is a lime tree growing near the entrance to Didcot Hospital. This is 18m (60 feet) tall. If you know of a taller tree, please let me know via the link in the footer of this page.

Giant sequoia at Northbourne

Centre, Church Street

Lime at Didcot Hospital

 

THE TOP 20 50 LARGEST OAKS

Numbers on map above tally with list below

  UPDATE APRIL 2021:  On first launch of this website in early March 2021, the Top 20 largest / oldest oak trees were presented here, which roughly equate to all oaks in Didcot over 150 years old. Recent discoveries have been added to the website, including a page on Valley Park, and an update to the Eastern Didcot page covering part of the footpath to Long Wittenham. This has revealed 22 more oaks over 150 years old. Rather than display the latest Top 20, it seems more valuable to retain the original Top 20 (numbered on the first photo in white) along with latest discoveries (numbered in yellow) to aid those who have already used this website to visit the original Top 20. So currently the page has 43 entries, hence renaming it Top 50 and leaving space for future discoveries.

  NUMBER 1 – THE LARGEST AND OLDEST OAK 

 The oak that grows on the northern perimeter of Edmonds Park is Didcot's largest tree and oldest oak. With a girth of 541cm measured in 2020, its age is estimated at 340 years, meaning that it started growing in about 1680. It is recorded on the Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Inventory. The largest oaks in Britain are recorded by the Woodland Trust – five have a girth larger than 12m, the largest being the Marton Oak in Cheshire which has a girth of just over 14m. As mature oaks move into old age, they tend to become stouter and less high.

1

Edmonds Park northern

perimeter – largest tree

TPO: no

Girth 541 cm in 2020

340 years = 1680

 

  NUMBER 2  

 This ancient oak – now reduced to a rotten stump – is still alive! Its girth of 442 cm makes it the second-oldest oak in Didcot. It can be found on the brick path, north east of the Ladygrove Lakes.

2

Ladygrove lakes living stump

TPO: no

 

  NUMBER 3 

3

GWP north wood

TPO: 06S23W1

Tree near entrance

TPO: 06S23T1

Girth 432 cm in 2020

232 years = 1788

 

  NUMBER 4  

4

Long Wittenham path: tree

15 after first field

TPO: no

Girth 426 cm in 2020

225 years = 1795

 

  NUMBER 5  

5

Long Wittenham path T18

TPO: 19S28T18

Girth 406 cm in 2020

210 years = 1810

 

  NUMBER 6  

6

Ladygrove farm path

TPO: 17S16T20

Girth 404 cm

207 years = 1813

 

  NUMBER 7 

7

West Hagbourne path 10

adjoining Stubbings Land

TPO: no

Only partly accessible

Approx 200 years = 1820

 

  NUMBER 8 

8

GWP south Bluebell Lane,

west end Stubbings Land

TPO: 15S05T6

Woodland Trust recorded

Girth 392 cm in 2020

200 years = 1820

 

  NUMBER 9 

9

Willowbrook N/S row of 6

Franklin Gardens

TPO: 17S16G8

4th tree from south / right

Largest 386 cm in 2020

190 years = 1830

 

  NUMBER 10  

10

Wittenham path tree 26

TPO: no

Girth 386 cm

190 years = 1830

 

  NUMBER 11  

11

Valley Park tree 205 (centre)

TPO: no

Girth 386 cm in 2020

190 years = 1830

Girth 386 cm in 2020

190 years = 1830

 

  NUMBER 12  

12

Valley Park tree 203 (right)

TPO: no

Girth 377 cm in 2020

185 years = 1835

Girth 377 cm in 2020

185 years = 1835

 

  NUMBER 13  

13

Wittenham path tree 35

TPO: no

Girth 377 cm

185 years = 1835

 

  NUMBER 14  

14

Willowbrook field SW corner

field W of Franklin Gardens

TPO: 17S16G20

Girth 375 cm in 2020

185 years = 1835

 

  NUMBER 15  

15

Wittenham path tree 6

TPO: no

Girth 374 cm

185 years = 1835

 

  NUMBER 16 

16

South Moreton footpath

T1 nearest path on left

TPO: 19S29T1-T5

T2-T5 on private farm land

T1 Girth 372 cm in 2020

185 years = 1935

 

  NUMBER 17 

17

GWP north wood tree Ⅰ

TPO: 06S23W1

Girth 368 cm (ivy) 2020

180 years = 1840

Sketch of eastern part.

Beware slope and hazards

 

  NUMBER 18 

18

Edmonds Park NW

perimeter

TPO: 08S21T1

Only park tree with TPO

Girth 360 cm in 2020

170 years = 1850

 

  NUMBER 19 

19

Ladygrove Wood "The Bower"

Access N of Trent Road

TPO wood: 09S118W1 and

tree: 09S118T23 revoked

Girth 357 cm in 2020

170 years = 1850

 

  NUMBER 20 

20

Marsh Rec row of oaks

Lower Broadway

TPO: no

Largest 355 cm in 2020

170 years = 1850

 

  NUMBER 21  

21

Wittenham path tree 11

after first field

TPO: no

Girth 355 cm in 2020

170 years = 1850

 

  NUMBER 22  

22

Ladygrove Farm path

TPO: 17S16T23

Girth 354 cm

170 years = 1850

 

  NUMBER 23 

23

GWP S Sorrel Crescent

near Tom Gaughan Way

TPO: 06S24T33

Girth 351 cm in 2020

165 years = 1855

 

  NUMBER 24 

24

Edmonds Park NNW

Leaning, pruned at 5m

Girth 351 cm in 2020

165 years = 1855

 

  NUMBER 25  

25

Wittenham path first field

(right)

TPO: 19S28T21

Girth 349 cm

165 years = 1855

 

  NUMBER 26  

26

Wittenham path first field

TPO: 19S28T3

Girth 347 cm

162 years = 1858

 

  NUMBER 27  

27

Wittenham path first field

TPO: 19S28T1

Girth 346 cm

160 years = 1860 (left)

 

  NUMBER 28  

28

Didcot Hospital tree 7

160 years = 1860 (left)

Didcot Hospital tree 7

160 years = 1860 (left)

 

  NUMBER 29  

29

Valley Park tree 207 (left)

TPO: no

Girth 346 cm in 2020

160 years = 1860

Girth 346 cm in 2020

160 years = 1860

 

  NUMBER 30 

30

Willowbrook field N edge

TPO: 17S16T15

Girth 345 cm in 2020

160 years = 1860

 

  NUMBER 31 

31

Edmonds Park east of pair

nearest NE park corner

TPO: no

Broadest 345 cm in 2020

160 years = 1860

 

  NUMBER 32  

32

Wittenham path tree 36

160 years = 1860

TPO: no

Girth 340 cm

160 years = 1860

 

  NUMBER 33  

33

Wittenham path tree 13

(left)

TPO: no

Girth 338 cm in 2020

160 years = 1860

 

  NUMBER 34 

34

Wantage Road roundabout

Foxhall / Park Road

TPO: no

Girth 337 cm in 2020

160 years = 1860

 

  NUMBER 35 

35

Wantage Road (opposite 98)

TPO: no

Girth 334 cm in 2020

155 years = 1865

 

  NUMBER 36  

36

Didcot Hospital tree 6 (twin)

155 years = 1865 (right)

Didcot Hospital tree 6 (twin)

155 years = 1865 (right)

 

  NUMBER 37  

37

Didcot Hospital tree 2

TPO: no

Girth 331 cm in 2020

150 years = 1870

 

  NUMBER 38 

38

Wantage Road (opposite 118)

TPO: no

Girth 330 cm in 2020

150 years = 1870

 

  NUMBER 39 

39

Edmonds Park E by Didcot

Wave Leisure Pool

TPO: no

Girth 330 cm in 2020

150 years = 1870

 

  NUMBER 40 

40

Oakend Lea largest in

group S of road

TPO: 09S141G1

Largest 330 cm in 2020

150 years = 1870

 

  NUMBER 41  

41

Valley park tree 162

TPO: no

Girth 330 cm in 2020

150 years = 1870

 

  NUMBER 42  

42

Wittenham path

single tree in field

TPO: no

Girth 330 cm in 2020

150 years = 1870

 

  NUMBER 43 

43

West Hagbourne path oak 3

TPO: no

Girth 329 cm in 2020

150 years = 1870

 

  HAVE YOU FOUND A LARGER ONE? 

 If you've discovered and measured an oak tree with a girth larger than 330cm at 1.3m above ground, and it's not on the list above, please let me know using the contact link in the footer below.