For our seed this year we chose the BIHIP selected Oak (Quercus Robur) growing in Hindolveston Wood, Norfolk.
This tree stands in compartment 2A at the western end of Hindolveston Wood. It was planted in 1951 and in 2007 stands 15.75 m high with a BH diameter of 40.5 cm and contains approx 0.43 m³.
It is free of epicormic shoots and has a bole of 9 m of knot-free timber. It has light branching, with no forks and good apical dominance. It was selected by BIHIP in 1998. Acorns have been collected from it twice, in 2000 and 2006, the latter being a prolific year.
Hindolveston Wood, on the southern half of the Melton Constable Estate was purchased by the Duke of Westminster in 1949 and his woodlands department employed Pulford Estates Ltd to carry out all its forestry activity. It is now owned by the Brun family.
It was decided that Hindolveston Wood, which had been clear-felled in 1939-45, should be totally replanted with one year Oak seedlings. The planting was contracted out to Messrs Longhirsts who at that time had a nursery and contract gang at Sheringham. A forester (Jack Archer) who worked for Longhirsts has told me that at that time he organised a collection of over 10 tonnes of acorns by schoolboys from an avenue in Colby near Gunton in Norfolk. These were sent to Scotland for sowing and the trees returned to Norfolk for planting in Hindolveston Wood. The spacing was 5 feet x 1 ½ feet.
Compartment 2A consists of 1.7ha and has a yield class 8 for the Oak. Amongst the trees growing, it contains 108 selected final crop trees, 63/ha at 12.5m spacing. This is slightly under the 65/ha, which is considered the ideal density of a final crop of a pure Oak stand on a 120-150 year rotation.
PLANTING OUT THE HINDOLVESTON ACORNS IN THE POLYTUNNEL
Using a good quality mulching compost and cell-growing trays, the acorns were set in November 2006, raised on trestles – to defy the mice who fancy tasty acorns.
Mousetraps were set immediately, although we knew that there was no way the mice could climb up the trestles and onto the overhanging aluminium supporting plates.
We were wrong! So far (March 2007) the mice have played havoc with our precious seeds and we are desperate to find out how they managed to reach the trays...
(Someone has suggested paragliding)