News From The Gardeners' World
Saturday 13 March 1999
The oak is Britain's favourite tree, according to NOP. The top 10 were oak, weeping willow, silver birch, apple, beech, chestnut, cherry, pine, maple and ash. Only three of those are on my own list of trees worth planting to celebrate the millennium. Oak, ash and beech are all sturdy British natives, and there are not enough of them about.
You need to take a deep breath before you plant an oak. They are trees for large open spaces. The native oak Quercus robur can easily reach 70ft. Beside the drive leading to Leeds Castle in Kent there is a tree 135ft tall, with a trunk 12ft round. The "Crimea Oak" at Althorp, Northants is 72ft high; at Dunkeld Cathedral in Perth there is one 105ft high. They spread wide, too.
There are good foreign oaks, such as the Algerian oak Quercus canariensis and the chestnut-leaved oak, Q castaneifolia from the Caucasus, but for a millennium planting, only an English one will do. There are various selected forms of Q robur such as 'Concordia', which has bright yellow spring growth, and 'Atropurpurea', with reddish-purple leaves. But it is very slow-growing, and for seemliness and fitness for purpose the common English oak is the one I would choose.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...
£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...
£240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...
£32000 - £38000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Serv...