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How Old Is That Oak Tree?

On your daily walk around the area, you might have noticed that there are some large and ancient oak trees in the fields and hedgerows.

But how do you estimate how old an oak tree may be? Click on the picture for the recipe from the Woodland Trust or download the whole document below.

If you want a quick and dirty estimate, all you need to do is take a guess at the diameter of the trunk at the position shown in the Woodland Trust diagram and multiply by 3. That gives you a rough measure of the girth and then you can use the diagram in the Woodland Trust document (below) to work out the approximate age.

After you've found out how old it is, you can do a little bit of historical research about what was happening in these islands and even in Cheshire when the tree was sprouting from an acorn.

For example, the huge oak tree just outside the rear wall of St Mary's, Nether Alderley is probably 400-450 years old. That takes us back before the Great Plague (1665) and when this tree was a little sapling, it would still be another 150 years or so before Bonnie Prince Charlie marched his army up Hocker Lane to Macclesfield (1745).

Now, how old is the tree at the end of Oak Road and what was happening in the area when it was a little sprout in a hedgerow?

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