Finding a 400 year old Oak Tree

Its not every day you find a 400 year old oak tree in your local woods but that's what I found after an old acquaintance shared a photo of him standing up high between two huge branches of a very old oak tree. The exact location was not shared with me nor the offer of showing me the big oak was truly honoured so I took it upon myself to walk the woods and find it. 

And sure enough one day in the month of May I stumbled across the tree. I returned the following day with a measuring tape to gauge the age of this beautiful oak tree. The trunk measured 6.3 meters which means it was certainly more than 400 years old. In all the time this tree grew, it had grown through hundreds of years of human battles, famine, wars and historical milestones. It grew larger and stronger with every rotating season of each year. It survived the massive cutting down of native broad leafed tree's. I felt privileged and honoured to be close to this 400 year old tree. 

In West Cork (Southern Ireland) there is very little left in terms of original native woodland. In fact the statistic for native broad leafed tree's in Ireland is at an eye watering 2%. How is this possible? The cogs of business seem more focused on growing sitka spruce for profiteering and government still don't recognise the importance of broad leafed tree's for wildlife and future generations of this country.

But I do come across signs of good will amongst people and community projects over social media where people are planting tree's themselves which is heart warming to see. But ideally a national broad leafed tree planting project is the ideal solution to bringing up that scarey 2% of native woodland in Ireland.

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