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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Oak trees' royal roots honoured
Pontfadog oak tree
The oak tree has seen many coronations
A tree that has been growing since the reign of King Egbert in 802 will be honoured more than 1,000 years later as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The oak in Pontfadog near Wrexham is the largest and oldest oak tree in the UK.

Einwen Jones
Einwen Jones believes the tree is special

It is one of 50 trees, including a 4000-year-old yew near Abergele, which have been specially chosen by the conservation charity the Tree Council to mark the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Einwen Jones, who has visited the area all her life from her home in nearby Glyn Ceiriog, said the tree has a special place in history.

"It's the largest and oldest oak tree in the United Kingdom, the latest estimated age puts it at about 1,200 years old.

"Although it's so old it's very much alive if you look at the branches it's full of leaves in all it's glory.

Tree's trunk
The open trunk can seat six people

"It's still growing which is amazing, it was a very young tree when King Offa built his dyke about a mile and a half away from here.

"It had grown quite a bit more in 1165 when King Henry II suffered such a defeat at the hands of Owen Gwynedd the Prince of Wales who tried to breach that same dyke.

"If this tree could speak - think of the history you would have."

The sessile oak has a huge hollow trunk said to big enough to seat six people at a table.

Local legend has it that in the late 19th Century a missing bull was finally discovered hiding inside its trunk.


Some trees are as important to our heritage as the great stately homes and castles

Jon Stokes, The Tree Council

Ms Jones is familiar with the tale: "It had got inside and they couldn't find it but I also remember seeing six little calves penned here so that shows you how big it is inside.

"It's unbelievable, people can't imagine standing inside a tree," she added.

The tree, which will be bestowed with a plaque earmarking its importance, was chosen to remember the Queen's Jubilee year after a nationwide search.

The Tree Council's Director of Community Projects, Jon Stokes, said: "Some trees are as important to our heritage as the great stately homes and castles."

The Pontfadog oak would have seen thousands of coronation ceremonies and Ms Jones is pleased that it will be remembered forever.

"There are so many old trees in the country but we've got the oldest oak tree - the leaves are so nice and big and it's still going strong."

For a full round up of events in north east Wales click here


More news from north east Wales
See also:

25 May 02 | Wales
22 Apr 02 | N Ireland
10 Apr 02 | England
03 Apr 02 | England
10 Jan 02 | England
05 Mar 02 | England
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