Chambersbury Veteran Oak
Chambersbury Veteran Oak
Chambersbury Lane Veteran Oak
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Sadly at the end of February 2008 the tree had to be felled as it was a potential danger to roadusers and pedestrians, being right on the roadside in Chambersbury Lane. Ultrasonic inspection of the root system by an arborialist indicated that there were cavities within it due to fungal infection. These can be seen from the outside of the stump. The fungal infection is Inonotus Hispidus which produces Bracket fungi up the trunk.  The infection
was already weakening the tree, and it was feared it might fall from the roots onto a passing motoriet or pedestrian.
Large portions of the trunk and boughs have been left in the park to provide habitat for the many small creatures around, and in some instances have been planed to shape them into suitable seats on which those enjoying the park can rest for a while.
Tree-rings and burr wood profiles
In the year 2000 I recorded the detail of the tree and entered them in the Hertfordshire Veteran Tree Survey.  At that time I believed to be considerably older than would appear to have been the case. (See par. above.)  One can estimate a tree's age from its girth,(see guide above), but the only accurate way to date a tree is to take a dendro-core and match it to the known (in this case) oak data base, or to count the tree rings from the main core trunk once it is felled.

In this case I counted (with difficulty, as the saw marks got in the way) the treerings from the section shown to the left, and made the tree 208 years old.  If anyone else has counted the rings, or would like a copy of the section photo to try dating themselves, please contact me.
Section used for dating, taken from the surface marked with an arrow.
This page was last updated: June 21, 2015
Click on the oakguide below to download 
the Woodland Trust's Guide to dating oak trees. 
For at least over 208 years, and possibly more,(see estimate below) this magnificent oak tree stood within the ancient hedgerow along Chambersbury Lane, immediatly opposite what is now the entrance to Northend.  In recent years it was also within Bunkers Park Open Space.  A truly wonderful veteran oak tree within our historic landscape.

The records of the Hertfordshire Biological Records Centre showed the following on their map database for 2008:

Bunkers Park open space, Leverstock Green 
Hedgerow along ancient lane (Anglo/Saxon) now boundary of Bunkers Park open space. 
Opp.side access rd to Northend, along Chambersbury Lane.Overhangs Cham. Ln, so well pruned app 3 years ago. Tree forms artificial entrance to the BDC owned Bunkers Grn open space. At least 2 new oak saplings nearby. 
Trunk girth 524cm 
2 holes 

Girth = 525cm = tree approx 325 years old  -dating the tree back the late 17th century & the reign of  James II.
It is likely therefore that my ring count was not very accurate, and I will try again when time permits.
Click on the oakguide below to download 
the Woodland Trust's Guide to dating oak trees. 
Oak Sculptures
In the Autumn of 2008 some delightful scuptures appeared in the remains of one of the boughs - turning a basic bench in an oak bough, into a delightful sculpture.  They were comissioned by Dacorum Borough Council and created by Daniel Crodell from Kings Langley.

These photographs were taken by Martin Chapman of the sculpture on 14th March 2009.
an in-depth history of one village in Hertfordshire UK.