As one of our top-20 actions from our 2023/24 environment plan, we have committed to giving away 75 English oak trees to communities, parish councils and schools in celebration of the coronation of King Charles III and his 75th birthday in November 2023!
Why oak trees?
Oak trees have always had a special place in the hearts of UK residents. They have a long and rich past, embedded in literature, folk-law, the arts, and especially the history of the Monarchy. There are many stories from history that feature a particular oak tree. The Royal Oak became legend when Charles II famously hid in one when escaping from the Roundheads. There is an oak tree at Hatfield House famously called Queen Elizabeth, as it was whilst sitting under this tree that she became queen. The Major Oak still stands in Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood and his Merry Men frequently camped beneath it.
Oak trees are the most common of all woodland species in the UK and can live for up to 1,000 years. The UK has more ancient oaks than the whole of Europe combined. They have been used to get married under, bring luck, build ships and furniture, but the main reason for choosing oaks, and probably the most important reason today, is their vast capability of supporting hundreds of species of wildlife. A huge 2,300 species are supported by the oak tree, with over 200 of these relying on the oak tree completely to ensure their survival. From a sapling to long after its death, the oak tree is home, shelter and nourishment for so many other species. They really are an asset to any community hoping to enhance, enrich and support the nature around them.
What we provide
As part of this giveaway, we will provide:
- Up to six standard oaks (1.5 to 2 meters tall) per applicant
- Two stakes per tree
- Four ties per tree
- School applications will also receive a selection of fiction and non-fiction tree related books
All trees will be delivered to The Grange in Ely at the end of January and will need to be collected by the applicants.
The scheme is open to:
- community groups
- parish councils
- schools and nurseries
What you need
- You must have the landowner's permission
- The land should be publicly accessible 24-hours per day (schools excluded). If this is not possible, please explain who will have access
- have space! Oaks can grow up to 30 meters or more, you must plant a minimum of 3o meters from a building or other infrastructure, and leave at least 15 meters from other trees
- avoid waterlogged areas, but otherwise most soil types are fine
- care, the tree(s) will need to be kept well-watered and weeded to avoid competition for nutrients
- to be able to plant the tree(s) within a few days of collection
- to give us the coordinates of your tree(s) location
To find out more about oak trees and their care, please visit the Woodland Trust (external link)
Please read the terms and conditions (PDF) before submitting an application.