The Quarr Abbey Oak - Shortlisted For Tree of The Year 2018


The winner for England was Nellie's Oak. Quarr Abbey Oak came 4th.

Quarr Abbey Oak

Photo credit: Sienna Anderson

Fiona Aucott of PBA Consulting, personally submitted the Quarr Abbey Oak on the Isle of Wight for inclusion in this year’s Tree of the Year after she saw this amazing tree whilst on holiday. She was delighted to learn that it had been included in the Woodland Trust Top 10 list of trees in England.

Spotted across a field from the Quarr Road many people have looked out at the old ruins of the Abbey Infirmary and marvelled at this unique oak tree. It appears to have grown out of the very stones of the ruined wall, absorbing as it grew great stone chunks into its mighty trunk. It appears to have grown over structures no longer there, creating three distinct trunks that form archways reminiscent of the old infirmary above whose remains it towers.

It is the kind of tree stories would be wound around - tales to intrigue children and adults alike. But researching this tree on the internet revealed that it had remained generally unnoticed. Fiona felt that such a tree of distinction should be brought into the public notice more. So when she heard about the Woodland Trust ‘Tree of the Year Competition’ she submitted her photo of this tree and explained why it was worthy of inclusion in the shortlist. She was delighted to receive an email telling her it had been short listed given it stood against so many other worthy trees of the UK.

“If the Quarr Abbey Oak was to win the competition then the Oak would receive the TLC it deserves to nurture it for the future. It would be lovely if a pathway to the tree could be arranged for visitors to get up close to this amazing specimen.”

A visit to Quarr Abbey had been recommended to Fiona by one of PBA’s clients. This Housing Association Client instructed PBA Consulting to survey their 13,000 tree stock earlier this year. The locations ranged across three counties and each tree was examined and recorded by a member of the PBA Arboricutural Survey Team.

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Matthew Noyce of Head Gardener - Estate Manager at Quarr Abbey writes:

The Quarr Abbey Oak, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Founded in 1132, Quarr Abbey housed a group of Cistercian monks until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536. The abbey fell to ruin, but through the remains of the infirmary grew an oak tree. The oak has three trunks, which join together to form a natural archway, mimicking the old infirmary window next to it. The oak has even grown up and around the last remnants of a stone wall, surrounding the masonry and slowly occluding the stones as it grows. This tree is not only a magnificent oak tree but it is also a marvellous time capsule of social history. A demonstration of how a tree can literally grow on what previous generations have built upon. A new abbey was built nearby at the beginning of the 20th century, and is still a working monastery of the Benedictine order.

The results have now been announced on BBC1 The One Show, and Newsround. The details can be found here

The next round of voting is open for Great Britain Tree of the Year, the winner of which will go forward to European Tree of the Year.

Thank you in advance.