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Your Ancient Oak Sapling

Blenheim is a unique haven for pollinators including honeybees. The incredibly rich mix of wildflowers and nectar-producing plants on the estate, as well as many hectares of virtually undisturbed native woodlands, make it a perfect habitat for them.
Your Ancient Oak Sapling

Your Ancient Oak Sapling

Blenheim is a unique haven for pollinators including honeybees. The incredibly rich mix of wildflowers and nectar-producing plants on the estate, as well as many hectares of virtually undisturbed native woodlands, make it a perfect habitat for them.

Veteran Oaks are aged from four hundred years old. Some in the park can be dated back to around 1000 AD. The park is unique in that for the first seven hundred years it was a royal hunting park so this left the park untouched.

The veteran oak acorns are collected from around the park in September while still on the trees. Placed in cold water for 24 hours then mixed with compost in bins and turned once a week. Once they start to chit (roots start to grow) they are put into seed trays and placed into the greenhouse. In March they start to grow and stay there till the end of July and taken out to harden off for winter. Some are planted around the estate for future generations or planted into recycled pots like this one you have purchased. 

Grow a Legacy of Your Own

Blenheim Estate is home to the largest forest of ancient (or veteran) oak trees in Europe. An oak is considered veteran once it reaches 400 years old. Some oaks in Blenheim Park can be dated back to around 1000 AD - these are in a protected area of the estate known as High Park. High Park was a royal hunting park for over 700 years, long before Blenheim Palace was built, meaning it has been untouched for almost a millennium.

An important part of our work at Blenheim Estate is preserving these trees and the legacy that they carry. By taking this sapling home and planting, you’ll become part of that legacy. 

From Tiny Acorn to Ancient Oak

This sapling came from an acorn of one of our veteran oaks, collected from around the park in September while still on the tree. Once picked, the acorn was nurtured in compost for a few weeks. Once the roots began to grow, it was put into a seed tray and placed into our greenhouse. In March it started to grow and stayed there until the end of July when it was taken out to get ready to be planted over winter. Some saplings are planted around the estate for future generations, and some, like this one, are planted into recycled pots to be given a new home.

PLANTING YOUR OAK

You should plant your oak sapling between December and March. If you take this sapling home outside of planting season, you can keep it in its pot outdoors until the time is right.

Choose a nice open space for your oak and plant no deeper than the root collar (the soil level in the pot). Your tree can grow up to 35m in both height and width – but it will take a few (hundred) years.

CARING FOR YOUR OAK

Water your oak once per week (or 3-4 times in dry periods) for its first year. Then for the following five years or so, water when needed. After then, the tree will be mature enough to survive without watering.