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FAQ

  • How do you guarantee the provenance for each tree?
    Our Founder, Benedict Pollard, has hand-collected every acorn, and each seed is given its own unique botanical code that refers it to its parent tree. He keeps a meticulous notebook with these collecting numbers detailed and connected to altitude, GPS readings (UK gridrefs or Lat-Logs), dates, times, locations, as well as photos of all the parent trees on that day. This is a system he learned when collecting botanical samples in the mountains, grasslands and rainforests of western Cameroon as an Earthwatch volunteer on expeditions led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. His first collection was made on 28 October 1996, coded BP1. It was a small, high-altitude, herb in the legume family, a papilionoid known by the name Vigna fischeri. His second specimen, BP2, was a little herb in the Compositae (daisy family): Bidens pilosa. He continued to collect botanical voucher specimens for many years, mostly in Cameroon, but also in Guinea (Conakry), Sierra Leone, Congo (Brazzaville), the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. These collection numbers are unique reference codes, which are carefully used to label the oaks from their original acorn pots or trays, all the way through from young shoots onto sturdy oaklings in large pots. For Mighty Fine Oaks, the first acorn collection was made on 19th September 2015, from The Radley Oak, with the collection number BP1552. As of November 2022, the series reached BP1802, being from a huge old oak (girth 10.63m) from Kent. Amongst the c. 250 oak collections made by Mighty Fine Oaks, about 20% are sight records, meaning that no acorns or leaves were collected, but the location, size, species and form of tree were recorded for scientific purposes. As such, about 200 parent trees have now been visited and acorns collected. Purchasers of oaklings will receive a signed certificate confirming the guaranteed provenance of each tree. Caveat: do please be aware that oaks are 'anemophilous' = wind-pollinated. Pollen is so tiny and light that it can travel very long distances. So, as we say, "we don't know who the father is!" However, the acorn has certainly been nurtured and grown by a mother oak of known provenance, and will have been imprinted with the energetics of it's maternal lineage. Below is an example of the collecting notebook from 2020.
  • I don't have space to plant an oak - can I buy one to plant somewhere else?
    Yes! We are partnering with different landowners to create new pasture woodlands in some very scenic settings, that will be characterised by newly planted oak groves and open rides. There will be plenty of space to accept a dedicated oak, which could have a name plaque. We can send you its planted location. Contact benedict@mightyfineoaks.com to discuss further and find out about the special locations that are available.
  • Which species of oak are available?
    Both of the oak species native to the United Kingdom are available: Quercus robur and Quercus petraea. Do bear in mind that there is a very small possibility that some of the oaklings may be a hybrid of the two native species, but by and large we can assign each oakling to one or other species to a high degree of certainty.
  • Do you deliver to our area?
    For trees up to about 2m in height, we can deliver by courier to mainland UK only. Trees above that height are grown in north Oxfordshire and can be delivered within approximately a 75 mile radius. For areas outside of that, please contact us via email: benedict@mightyfineoaks.com to discuss options.
  • How much do the trees cost?
    The trees vary in price from around £91 to £701, supply only, excluding VAT. The prices depend on the age and size of the tree, as well as the availability of oaklings of a specific parentage, and the age, size and form of the parent oak. The first tranche of trees being made available are graded into 4 main grades, and there are price ranges for each grade. Prices are available on application. Contact: benedict@mightyfineoaks.com
  • How old are the oaklings?
    As of October 2022, the oldest are seven years old (2015 acorns), and the youngest that we sell are two year olds (2020 acorns)
  • Do you offer a planting and maintenance / aftercare service?
    We do not offer a regular planting service nor aftercare and maintenance. That is the responsibility of the purchaser. However we can offer advice and guidance on how best to plant the trees and care for them. For a special occasion, we do offer a bespoke package whereby Benedict can accompany the tree and deliver a more personalised in-depth experience, which can include one or more of various interesting activities, such as storytelling, talks, lectures, scientific discussions. email him here for further information: benedict@mightyfineoaks.com
  • Do you offer a guarantee of health for the tree
    We guarantee that tree will be in good or excellent health at the time of despatch. Our trees are accompanied by a Plant Passport and will have been checked for pests or diseases by a specialist before delivery. We do not accept liability for the health of the plant after that point, but we are delighted to offer guidance and support in how best to plant and care for your purchase.
  • Do you donate any trees for good causes?
    We do! If you feel you have a cause that is worthy of benefitting from our tithing process, then do get in touch and we will consider each application on its merits: benedict@mightyfineoaks.com Please note that it is likely we will consider donating trees of the smaller grades.
  • How many trees are available?
    We have a reasonably good stock of trees, but will not release them all in one go, so availability is limited. We would rather supply trees to a good home where they will be cared for, and appreciated, and these will take preference over those keen on very large numbers of trees, but we will of course consider all applications.
  • What about Oak Processionary Moth (OPM)?
    Our trees are currently grown at two nurseries in Oxfordshire and Somerset, and a site in Gloucestershire. All sites are subject to DEFRA plant health inspections and biosecurity protocols. Plant Passports will accompany each tree. At present all these areas are outside of the OPM exclusion zone (as of October 2022). Any changes to these regulations will be adhered to accordingly to ensure the risk of transference of OPM is minimised.
  • Should I opt for Quercus robur or Quercus petraea?
    The first release is approximately one third Quercus robur (English, Common or Pedunculate Oak) and two thirds Q. petraea (Sessile Oak). Both species have their merits, and although the latter is less well-known generally-speaking, it is a very widespread tree in the UK, vigorous, and in many ways more tolerant to difficult or exposed sites than is Q. robur. Both trees are lovely, robust and thrive in England. It is remarkable how well both species have been observed in the wild to tolerate the hot weather in summer 2022, when species such as maples, cherries and birch have been notably suffering.
  • What is your biosecurity protocol?
    Our larger trees are grown at a nursery in Oxfordshire that is accredited 'Plant Healthy' and where biosecurity is an integral part of the daily horticultural regimen. Our smallest trees are grown in Somerset with a DEFRA approved Plant Passport. Trees are inspected regularly both by nursery staff and DEFRA Plant Health staff.
  • What is your returns policy?
    We guarantee the health and physical integrity of the tree up to the point of delivery if we are delivering it, or up to the point of despatch if an external person or company is utilised. See our Terms and Conditions for more information on this.
  • What growing media do you use?
    At present we use a mix of different growing media, usually with a good amount of organic bark, grit, minimal peat, and fertiliser.
  • When is the best time of year to plant trees?
    Our trees can be planted at any time of the year, as they are container-grown. We recommend planting in the autumn or winter, when the tree is dormant above ground, but its roots will continue to grow and settle into its new position. If you are planting any time from March to October then we strongly recommend that you have a watering protocol in place
  • Are your seeds certified as 'Forest Reproductive Material (FRM)'?
    No. Our trees are not intended to be grown, planted or utilised for commercial forestry purposes. We encourage purchasers of our trees to plant them as amenity specimens, stand alone, in groves or avenues, in parkland restoration or enhancement, and habitat creation or enhancement, including wood pasture, and oak groves.
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