OXFORD BOTANIC GARDEN
On July 12th 2022, we supplied a fine 4m tall oakling for a ceremony to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden (OBG).
Pictured (left to right)
Professor Dame Louise Richardson, University Vice Chancellor
Professor Simon Hiscock, Director OBG
Lord Patten of Barnes, University Chancellor (facing away)
Mark Brent, Curator, OBG
Oak planting ceremony
A service was held in the University Church, including a hearty rendition of William Blake's 'Jerusalem'. The University dignitaries then completed a steady procession down Oxford High Street.
Our lovely oakling was granted pride of place in the grass lawn, just to the southwest of the Danby Arch.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Dame Louise Richardson, gave a speech explaining its special provenance and significance, and added the first soil. Benedict helped to complete the planting.
Benedict Pollard, Founder of Mighty Fine Oaks in discussion with
Chris Patten, University Chancellor
The parent oak
The tree was grown from an acorn hand collected on 1st October 2015 from a fabulous maiden oak at a well-known Park in Oxfordshire, with a girth of c. 8.9m. It is estimated to be at least 700 years old, perhaps 800 (pictured left).
To get a sense of scale, you can see Benedict, our Founder, under the tree, a few metres to the right of the trunk, with Holly, the estate manager's dog just behind him!
Sir Henry Danvers
Sir Henry Danvers, 1st Earl Danby, founded the University of Oxford Botanic Garden in 1621.
He owned and lived at the same park from 1615 until his passing in 1643 or 1644.
He would have known the very same oak tree from which we collected the acorn, which is relatively close to the main house. Even 400 years ago it would have been a sizeable tree, probably over 6m in girth.
The Danby Arch
The Danby Arch marks the original entrance to the oldest botanical garden in England, founded as a new centre of medical knowledge. It was created by Nicholas Stone (1585-1647). He was the master mason of Inigo Jones's Banqueting House in Whitehall and appointed master mason to the crown in the same year the arch was commenced (1632).
Our oakling is planted on the other side of the arch, to the right.
It is the only specimen of Quercus robur held in the Botanic Garden's collection.