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5000-year-old oak tree trunk found in UK

Last Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 - 09:59

London: A 44ft trunk of a giant oak-tree, thought to be more than 5000-year-old, has been unearthed from a farmland at Methwold Hythe, near Downham Market at Norfolk.

Planks cut from the Fenland Black Oak, or bog oak trunk will be dried over seven months in a specialist kiln.

The tree will make “a breathtaking table for public display giving an insight into the grandeur of these ancient giant forests,” the BBC quoted a spokesperson, as saying.

Experts have said the Norfolk bog oak is “the largest-ever intact 5,000-year-old sub-fossilised trunk of an ancient giant oak”, but added that it could be just a section - possibly as small as a quarter - of the original tree.

Giant oaks died around 7000 years ago when a rise in sea level relative to the land caused rivers to back-up and flood the fens.

Trees perished while standing and then tumbled into the silt of the forest floor which led to their preservation.

“This one is so special in that it is intact and, as far as I can tell, sound along its full 44ft length,” Hamish Low, of specialists Adamson and Low, said.

“Along with the fact it is impossible to know how long Fenland Black Oaks will continue to rise out of the soil, and their inherent fragility, this one is worthy of preserving for the interest of the nation,” he said.

Having taken a team of experts a day on Tuesday to unearth the tree and mill on site to 10 planks, the wood is being transported to London for drying.

Working as the Diamond Jubilee Fenland Black Oak Project, Low will lead a team of apprentice carpenters in collaboration with the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, to create a 44ft table from the dried oak with the intention of putting it on show to the public.


First Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 - 09:59

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