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1200-year-old tree blown down by wind in Wales

The 1200-year-old tree in north Wales was hit with 55 mph winds on Thursday morning and toppled over.
PontfadogEnlarge
Pontfadog, the little Welsh hamlet where the great oak tree stood. (Wikipedia/Wikimedia commons)

The oldest oak tree in Britain, the Pontfadog Oak, was uprooted by wind last week.

The 1200-year-old tree in north Wales was hit with 55 mph winds on Thursday morning and toppled over.

It is believed the tree sprouted in 802, during the Middle Ages and Viking raids along the coastline.

The oak saw its fair share of British history before hot and cold snaps, along with strong winds, yanked it out of the ground recently, where it had stood so long.

The giant tree had a girth of 42 feet, five inches and stood at 80 feet high.

Apparently, it was the last remaining tree in the area and was used as a rallying point for troops by Welsh princes.

"The tree was one of the biggest and oldest oak trees on the planet," "tree-hunter" Rob McBride, told BBC.

"It has a very significant history and until about 200 years ago was a tree that was pollarded - with branches and leaves regularly cut to feed animals and build fencing."

Apparently, it didn't have to end this way.

A local Welsh paper said that experts who surveyed the tree last year recommended about $8500 in measures to protect it.

A lack of funding meant the tree would be thrust to the elements.

"If the advice would have been taken, then the tree may be alive today," said Rory Francisof the Woodland Trust.

"There is nothing to protect our ancient trees in the same way as listed buildings and that is a weakness."

The oldest tree in Britain is also in Wales.

The Llangernyw Yew is said to be the second oldest organism on the planet at 5000-years-old and is still going strong.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/1200-year-old-tree-blown-down-wind-wales