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Menopausal Mother Nature

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One of Britain’s Oldest and Greatest Oak Trees Gets $7,000 Hug from Community

One of Britain’s Oldest and Greatest Oak Trees Gets $7,000 Hug from Community

The Capon Tree – Fallago Environment Fund, released

In the southern Scottish town of Jedburgh, an old neighbor recently received a helping hand from the community.

A 700-1,000-year-old sessile oak, known as the Capon Tree, was awarded a grant of £7,000, or around $8,500, for a caregiving regime after one of its supporting limbs collapsed.

Oaks that grow without any other trees nearby tend to grow in girth rather than height, and the Capon tree is an exceptional example of this strange duality. The Tree Council recognizes the Capon as one of Britain’s 50 greatest trees.

Stories go back to at least the 16th century, referring to the tree as a meeting place for brigands who would raid across the border into England, or for community members to gather for the resolution of disputes.

In 2021 when one of its massive supporting limbs collapsed, the Jedburgh Community Trust created the Capon Tree Preservation Project, an initiative that raised £15,000 to beautify the area, and reinforce the tree with supportive posts to ensure it can continue its life.

“While the Capon Tree is of national importance, its significance in the history and cultural lives of the people of Jedburgh is enormous,” said Jim Steele, chair of Jedburgh Community Trust, said. “We wanted to make sure that we were doing everything we could to prolong the tree’s life for future generations.”

MORE FOREST NEWS:  Ancient Trees Have Incredible Lifespans That Also Help Keep The Surrounding Forests Alive

Ancient trees are especially important to woodland ecosystems. They carry knowledge, both genetic knowledge and a demonstrable, tangible sort, of how to survive all manner of disasters and difficulties. Their offspring have much higher chances of living through frosts, floods, fires, disease, or droughts.

Capon Tree – CC 3.0. Ewen Rennie

Regarding “tangible” knowledge, some scientists like renowned forester Peter Wohlenben, have shown that old trees can teach other trees in a way we can see, but can’t really understand.

“The Capon Tree has been part of Borders life for centuries and still plays an important role in the region’s heritage,” said Fallago Environment Fund chairman Gareth Baird. “We’re extremely pleased that these windfarm-generated funds are being used to help maintain the health of this historic tree and enhance its surroundings so that it can continue to play its important role in the lives of people from Jedburgh and beyond.”

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