Favourite Trees

Tree Information: ID 77

  • Species: Pedunculate Oak
    (Quercus robur)
  • Council: Epping Parish: Chigwell
  • Form: MaidenStatus:Veteran Tree
  • Girth: 5.90mHeight:15-20Age:-Pre 1700
  • Context: Roadside
  • TPO number: EPF/18/08Veteran Tree No.:VT C004
  • Grid Ref: TQ 44288 93917
  • Accessibility: Public - open access
  • Nominator: Several people
  • Date Entered: 29 Aug 2006
  • Photograph©Date taken:

Reason for nomination:

  • This tree recieved the most nominations of any one tree with 5 people nominating it. There comments are as follows Known as "The Dickens Oak" this is a well known landmark in Chigwell. “My reason for picking this tree is simply the enormous girth of its trunk. I’m sure there are bigger oak trees, but I can’t recall seeing one.It must be very old, and if it could talk would have much to tell us. Situated close to ‘The King’s Head’, the model for the ‘Maypole’ in the Charles Dickens book ‘Barnaby Rudge’ I think we can be confident that Dickens would have known this tree.Despite some damage it looks in good health still, even though it is on a verge sandwiched between a busy road and a tarmac footpath, lapping its base on the other.Its majestic appearance represents a triumph of nature against the incursions." David Wixley. "This tree is possibly 500 years old, but still in excellent condition. It must be preserved for posterity" R Wiskin. "Very large, so very old - a good shape. I stop and think about all the changes that tree has seen over the years. Changes in Chigwell, traffic types, the children coming and going to the schools. Everytime we approach it we say there's that wonderful oak tree." Mrs M Cowling. "This is an enourmous specimen, of significant age with a girth probably in excess of 4 metres. It is often referred locally as the Dickens Oak. This has arisen because Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was a frequent visitor to this part of Chigwell and would have been familair with this tree. Indeed, Dickens refers to the Old Kings Head Pub in his novel Barnaby Rudge and this tree is only 100 or so metres away from that pub". Sue De Luca. " This is such a prominent and large old tree, it makes me think of an old mother hen ( a really fat one with a bonnet on her head!)and for that I think it has a nursing / mothering quality and it is reassuring to see it there every time you turn into the Lane. The tree has obviously managed to withstand the building of the road and is a good example of the fierce determination of nature to survive!" Tracy Clarke

Remarks & Tree condition:

  • This tree stands on Vicarage Lane in Chigwell Village. There is room to park one car directly opposite this tree, otherwise park further down towards The Old King's Head pub and walk a short distance back. Highway tree managed by Essex County Council.
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