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STWN social/ancient tree walk, Langham

On Thursday 26 August STWN hosted its second face to face event for Tree Wardens since lockdown.

Tree wardens in the walled garden

Some 30 Tree Wardens gathered at Langham Hall Walled Gardennear Walsham-le-Willows on the evening of Thursday 26th August 2021 for a stroll around the beautiful garden, with a glass of wine in hand, to see the work that has been done over the last two years by new Tree Warden Steve Adams and his partner Catherine Supple (and a team of volunteers) in restoring it to former glories.

Of particular interest were some very old espaliered pears and apples. Steve and Catherine then gave a short presentation about their previous work on Ascension Island and Mauritius in setting up local tree nurseries and rare tree seed propagation.

Gary Battell, Woodland Advisor, Suffolk County Council, led a walk around part of the Langham Hall estate, looking at a number of ancient trees in the landscape, in particular ‘the Langham Oak’, a magnificent lapsed pollard with a girth of 7.8m (at 1.5m height), making it one of the largest known oaks in the county.

The Langham Oak 7.8M girth
Gary addressing Tree Wardens as they view the oak.

Gary explained some of the stresses that this tree and many such ancient trees are facing. He described how careful expert reduction of such trees might help extend their life (but only after careful consideration and observation). Gary also emphasised the importance of ongoing monitoring and observation of such important trees by Tree Wardens in their parishes/towns.

As well as providing a welcome post-lockdown opportunity for Tree Wardens to socialise, the evening provided a great opportunity for Tree Wardens to garner knowledge from Gary as one of the UK’s leading ancient tree experts. Thanks to Steve, Catherine and especially Gary.

Report by David Appleton

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