Ancient fallen oak is chopped up

One of Britain's oldest trees, the Pontfadog Oak near Llangollen, was blown down in high winds earlier this year.

Report: Pontfadog Oak inspires campaign to save other ancient trees

The disaster which saw Wales' oldest oak tree topple into a house earlier this year should set alarm bells ringing about the threat to other old and ancient trees in Wales, say campaigners.

The 1,200 year old Pontfadog Oak was finally removed to a nearby field earlier this week.

The hope is that what remains of the tree can be transformed into a monument-as part of a call for stronger legal protection for our ancient trees. Our reporter Ian lang went to the village, near Chirk, to hear about plans for its future.

Ancient Welsh oak felled by winds to be chopped up

It's hoped a memorial can be made out of the ancient oak of Pontfadog. Credit: Viewer's Picture/Rob McBride

An oak tree in the Ceiriog Valley near Llangollen, thought to be the oldest in the UK, is being chopped up.

Coed Cadw - the Welsh arm of the woodland conservation charity The Woodland Trust - says the Pontfadog Oak was believed to be the oldest in Wales.

It toppled over in April after heavy snows and high winds hit the area.

The charity says legend has it that Owain Gwynedd rallied his welsh troops under this tree in the 12th century and then went on to defeat Henry II in a great battle.

It's hoped a memorial of some kind can be created out of the trunk which is believed to be up to 1,500 years old.

Samples from the tree have been taken and cultivated by the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire.

The Pontfadog Oak in March 2012 being visited by The Ancient Tree Forum. Credit: Viewer's Picture/Rob McBride

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Ancient trees are 'worth looking after'

Rory Francis, from Coed Cadw - the Woodland Trust in Wales - described the collapse of the famous Pontfadog Oak as a "sad day."

Speaking to Carl Edwards on our news programme this evening, he called for action to protect such ancient trees, as they are "worth looking after."

This video contains pictures taken by Rob McBride

Charity: Not enough done to conserve trees

Welsh woodland charity Coed Cadw says the Pontfadog was the oldest oak tree in Wales, and probably one of the oldest in Northern Europe, said to have grown since 802.

The charity, part of the Woodland Trust, says "we must learn lessons" from the tree collapsing, because it was not adequately protected.

Just last December, Coed Cadw presented a petition, bearing over 5,300 names, to the Welsh Assembly, calling for better protection for our ancient, veteran and heritage trees and in particular, support for the owners of trees in caring for them, just as the owners of listed buildings can receive support in caring for them.

Also last year, a group of experts from the Ancient Tree Forum visited the Pontfadog Oak and put together a list of actions that they believed could help conserve it.

Although the total cost was only £5,700, these actions were never taken as no funding source was available.

– Angharad Evans, Coed Cadw

Moray Simpson, Tree Officer for Wrexham, said "it would be good to try and save the fallen parts of the tree for posterity and to show future generations what we had and what was lost due to the nation not doing enough to save these trees."

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'Oldest oak tree' blown over

The famous Pontfadog Oak has been blown over in high winds. Credit: Viewer's picture / Huw Williams

An oak tree in the Ceiriog Valley near Llangollen, which is thought to be the oldest in the UK, has collapsed.

Coed Cadw - the Welsh arm of the woodland conservation charity The Woodland Trust - says the Pontfadog Oak, the fattest in Wales, was covered in very heavy snow over the last month, and has now blown over in high winds.

A Facebook page on the tree says it is thought to be between 1,200 and 1,600 years old.

The charity says legend has it that Owain Gwynedd rallied his welsh troops under this tree in the 12th century and then went on to defeat Henry II in a great battle.

It says: "What a loss to history, biodiversity and landscape interests."