Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00

Fairhaven Garden King Oak Inspection marks Great Storm 30th Anniversary

Written by  Paul Dickson
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Pete Taylor Fairhaven Garden forester, inspecting the King Oak  -  Image credit Paul Dickson Pete Taylor Fairhaven Garden forester, inspecting the King Oak - Image credit Paul Dickson

Foresters at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden marked the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm today (October 16), by giving that great survivor, the King Oak, its annual close inspection. The King Oak is more than 900 years old and survived the Great Storm, which smashed through the garden uprooting 2000 trees.

Matt Jordan, Head Forester said: “We discovered a hornet's nest during the inspection, so we were unable to give the King Oak it's 'haircut'. Tree surgery will be scheduled later in November when the hornets have disappeared. We regularly give the tree a visual inspection, looking for broken limbs and aggressive fungi, but climb the tree once a year to give it a thorough health check, looking for weakness in branch junctions and other damage.”

“The good news is that King Oak is in good health,” added Matt Jordan. “When we come back to do some surgery we will cut off some of the growth to help manage the weight on the tree's boughs. The tree has survived so long, because it was actively pollarded for many years and also grew next to a good supply of water. It has also responded well to the footpath being moved away from it's root system.”

Louise Rout Garden Manager explained: “Four years ago we moved the path away from the King Oak to give the tree more breathing space. Visitors' feet were compacting the roots and suffocating the tree. The King Oak and its neighbour the Queen Oak have responded very well to the space that we have given them. The path runs close to the trees, so you can still get a very good view of our star oaks.”

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Fairhaven Garden foresters Matt Jordan (left) and Pete Taylor inspecting the King Oak - Image credit Paul Dickson

Fairhaven Garden has had its own forestry team for the last 18 months, comprising Matt Jordan and Pete Taylor. Led by Matt, the duo also offer a tree surgery contracting service.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham NR13 6DZ, nine miles east Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, t. 01603 270449, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk

Fairhaven is open daily all year from 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day and closes 4pm in the winter), and on Wednesdays until 9pm from May to the end of August. Garden entry is adult £6.75, concessions £6.15, child £3.85 (under 5 free). Free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales. 

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and an accessible boat for trips on the broad from April to October (additional charge). Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance, mobility scooters available. 

Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

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Pete Taylor Fairhaven Garden forester, inspecting the King Oak - Image credit Paul Dickson

 

 

 

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