Myerscough’s ancient oak is tree-mendous

Tuesday 21 May 2019

An ancient Lancashire oak tree at Myerscough College’s Bilsborrow campus has been revitalised thanks to a national competition.

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The Tree Rescue team at Myerscough College

The Lucombe oak was chosen for some specialist innovative revitalising treatment, as part of a national Tree Rescue contest, a campaign to save the country’s oldest trees. The county oak, a cross between a cork oak and turkey oak, is thought to date back to Georgian times. It is estimated it was planted in the then Myerscough Hall grounds in around 1800, and has survived on the College’s campus since operations began back in 1969, but of late the veteran oak tree has been showing signs of distress.

It was Dr Duncan Slater, senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough who nominated the tree for the award. He said: “It’s one of the better trees on campus but also recently development has slightly infringed on its root system. We’re looking to keep a very valuable old tree in good condition not just for teaching purposes but for its own sake.”

‘’The first such cultivars date back to around 1762, and it is thought this one dates to around 1800. While there are a few at Worden Hall, Leyland and some in Cumbria this is thought to be the oldest.

“It is particularly exciting to have the opportunity to showcase this new treatment to our many arboricultural, horticultural and landscape students.”

The Lucombe oak is thought to be one of the original trees first brought into the UK. The team from Apex Tree Surgeons spent the day treating the tree with a Carbon Gold charcoal derived biochar product, which is enriched with mycorrhizal fungi Trichoderma, seaweed and wormcasts, using deep soil decompaction techniques with an airspade.

by Dave Salmon 

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