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Hedgerow Oak Trees: Their Potential and Future



Hedgerow oak (Quercus spp.) trees have been a feature of the British landscape for centuries and following the decline of the elm (Ulmus spp.) have become more conspicuous. In recent years many people have undertaken to examine the condition of hedgerow trees (Good, 1977; Good et al, 1981; Bunyan, 1981) and have concluded that some form of management plan is needed if the landscape of Britain is not to change drastically.

The objectives of this project were to examine the health of hedgerow oak trees, to discover what form this resource takes and how it might change in the future. It also looked at the possible uses for hedgerow oaks and suggests how they might be managed, for sawlog production, for fuelwood and for the benefit of wildlife.

The Countryside Commission (1974) defined ‘hedgerow trees’ as trees found within a hedge, which is a fence of woody shrubs managed to perform a function; usually, in agricultural areas, as a stock-proof barrier. For this project only oak trees (Quercus pendunculata and. Q. petraea) growing within hedgerows and those isolated on fields, were considered.

© 1987 Robert I. Bradshaw

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