Due to Covid-19, we have reduced personnel at the offices of the Sylva Foundation and our premises at the Sylva Wood Centre. Emails and phone messages are being checked but please allow a little longer than usual to receive a response.
Please do not arrange a formal visit without first checking with us. Members of the public are free to enjoy our network of permitted paths through the Future Forest as usual.


OneOak timber is extracted

posted on February 19, 2010

Sawmillers James and John Binning from Deep in Wood sawmill brought their forwarder and heavy lifting equipment to extract the OneOak timber today.

In contrast to the weather on the day of the felling, Blenheim’s woodland was bathed in glorious winter sunshine. They lifted the three main lengths of timber from the OneOak tree onto the trailer.  A large bent branch that we hope will become the brace for a timber-framed building was also taken away.  The branches that remain in the woodland will be used by craftspeople, who will come to select what they need to make dozens of small items.  A sculptor, a firewood merchant and a bioenergy company will also be selecting what they need from the remains of the tree’s crown.

The woodland looked so different than before, now that the OneOak tree is absent.  The eye was drawn to the space at its centre.  But nature was already visibly repairing itself.  The leaf tips of bluebells were emerging, and woodland birds were in full song. The sight of the laden forwarder disappearing down the rutted forest ride was very poignant.  The end of one chapter and the beginning of another.  Any thoughts of sadness at the loss of the tree will now turn to joy as we start to celebrate the creation and beauty of wood. Gabriel Hemery, Project Leader

The timber was transported to Deep in Wood sawmill, just 12 miles away from the woodland.  On the journey, the trailer was taken to a weighbridge where the massive logs were weighed – just over five and a half tonnes.  The weight of the main stem was the last piece in the jigsaw for scientists from Forest Research, who spent two days after the felling weighing every branch and twig, in a massive effort to calculate the total tree’s weight.

Milling is scheduled for next week.

Category: OneOak project, Wood

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Firewood from the OneOak tree

posted on January 29, 2010
OneOak firewood

Paul Williams and Darrell Cross

The first product from the OneOak tree was made on the day of the felling – January 20th 2010.

Local firewood merchant Trees & Gardens brought their firewood processor to the Blenheim Estate woodland and produced about 1 cubic metre of oak firewood logs.  They weighed 460kg.

The logs will now be stored until seasoned (dry) in winter 2010.

Our thanks to Paul Williams (owner) and assistant Darrell Cross for demonstrating at the project launch.

If you are interested in buying firewood around the Woodstock area you can contact Paul at:

telephone 01993 891767.

Trees & Gardens - local firewood merchants

local firewood merchants

Category: OneOak project, Wood

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How much wood?

posted on October 20, 2009
Phil Koomen and James Binning debating the quality of the OneOak tree

Phil Koomen and James Binning debating the quality of the OneOak tree

Wood gurus James Binning from Deep in Wood sawmill and furniture designer Phil Koomen visited the OneOak tree this week. We asked for their expert opinion as to the possible amount of usable timber we may be able to harvest from the tree. We hope to be able to make many wooden products from the OneOak’s timber and these will need good quality wood – free of knots and bends. Those parts of the tree with such ‘defects’ will be used for other things such as wood for creating heat or energy, or for smaller craft items.

James and Phil thought that it should be possible to cut some good quality timber from the OneOak tree but it may contain less than its large size suggests. There is a heavily-branched section midway up the main stem that may prove difficult to cut to produce the best quality timber.

At the end of the day, foresters only know the quality and quantity of usable timber from a tree when it is felled – so we will have to wait and see!

Category: OneOak project, Wood
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