Tree: The Beulah Spa oak, Croydon, London, October 2016
Species: English oak, Quercus robur
Age: Between 300-600 years
Next up on my slow-motion journey through the oaks of London is another of the Great North Wood oaks. This was shown to me by Jo Wright and Sam Bentley-Toon.
This oak is a confusing one. At first sight it appears to be an ancient pollard, possibly 500-600 years of age. Closer examination shows that it may actually be a coppice or regrown fell, meaning it’s more like 300 years old at most. Oliver Rackham pointed out that coppiced oaks can look like pollards in the way other species would appear to be pollarded.
It’s situated in Spa Wood (or the Lawns) in South Norwood. It is certainly a remnant of the Beulah Spa, created in the 1840s before the opening of the Crystal Palace. Therefore it is another Great North Wood oak.