Living Archaeology

On 13 November 2013 at the Blendon Anniversary Talk we gave out sweet chestnut seeds to each member of the audience.

Sweet chestnut seeds

Sweet chestnut seeds

These sweet chestnut seeds come from an ancient tree in a garden in Blendon. This tree has been dated as between 460 and 620 years old based on Forestry Commission methodology. (The uncertainty of the date is due to variations in the soil and the tree’s setting for the time before it became part of a private garden and how long it has been in old age). The circumference of the trunk at chest height was recorded as 8.535 metres (about 28 feet). This living archaeology helps us to interpret and visualise the historic landscape.

This tree is the second oldest living tree in Greater London.

The sweet chestnut tree in winter 2001

The sweet chestnut tree in winter 2001

The sweet chestnut tree on the Blendon estate in the early 1900s

The sweet chestnut tree on the Blendon estate in the early 1900s

At BAHRG we want to continue the heritage of our home.  We therefore asked people to plant the seeds to nurture and develop part of Blendon’s history for the future.

Sweet chestnut tree in a Beechway garden in summer 2011

Sweet chestnut tree in a Beechway garden in summer 2011

We are reliably informed that the best way to plant a sweet chestnut seed is to plant it horizontally with the flatter side of the nut at the bottom (rather than as usual with the pointed bit in the ground first). The more rounded side should be at the top.

We’d love to hear about the progress of the sweet chestnut seeds from anyone who came to the talk.

sweet_chestnut

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