born 1788 ~ died 2010
Based on the estate records of Blenheim Palace we had thought that the woodland containing the OneOak tree was probably planted in the 1850s, making the tree 160 years old.
Once that the tree had been felled we were able to use dendrochronology (tree-ring counting) to provide an exact date. Leading dendrochronologist Daniel Miles, of Oxford Dendrochronological Laboratory, collected seven discs from the main tree stem and from one branch immediately after felling. Our original thought that the tree was about 160 years old proved to be a large underestimate.
The lowest sample disc, taken about 30 cm above ground level, proved that the tree was 30 cm tall in 1790. The tree probably generated naturally in 1788: making it 222 years old when felled in 2010. It was almost the height of a two storey house by the time of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The OneOak tree started growing the same year that:
- the London Times was first printed
- the beginnings of the French Revolution
- Mozart composed his last symphony
- Lord Byron was born