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Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 08:33 GMT
Old oak receives honour
The Major Oak reputedly sheltered Robin Hood
The old tree still produces acorns
One of the East Midlands' major landmarks is being recognised during National Tree week.

The Major Oak, in Sherwood Forest, is reputed to have sheltered Robin Hood and his Merry Men.

A special plaque is to be placed at the popular tourist site bearing the inscription "The Queen's Oak" - as it was known in the 19th Century.

The ancient oak - which is propped up by support beams - has been named among the nation's top 50 trees by the National Tree Council.

Name game
It has had several names
It was first known as the Cockpen tree
Called the Queen's Oak in 19th century
Named the Major Oak in 1790, after local historian Major Hayman Rooke
The council's description of Major Oak says: "This famous vast hollow English oak is about 10.6m in girth and its leaves and branches spread 28m.

"It grows in Sherwood Forest and is said to have associations with Robin Hood.

"The tree became well known after it was described in 1790 by a local historian, Major Hayman Rooke - hence its name.

"Throughout the 19th century it was also known as the Queen or Queen's Oak.

"Because of its fame, the tree has been propped up and supported over the years to keep it alive."

The age of the oak tree is the topic of some debate but most experts place it between 800 and 1000 years old.

Another in the East Midlands to make the top 50 is the Lincolnshire apple tree which reportedly inspired Sir Isaac Newton to develop his theory of gravity.


Click here to go to Nottingham
See also:

19 Nov 02 | England
12 Nov 02 | England
01 Oct 02 | England
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