The Common Oak (Quercus robur) is undoubtably the greatest and most notable tree in Horndean. The parish lies on the north-east edge of the Forest of Bere where clay soils meet the chalk so most of our oaks are in the southern half of the parish and many now survive within housing estates and are threatened by their proximity to new housing.
Other Oak species found in Horndean
There are two native species - the Common or Pedunculate Oak (Q.robur) and the Sessile Oak (Q.petraea). The only locality where Sessile Oaks are found is Yoell's Copse where there are also some rare native oak hybrids, Q.x.rosacea),one specimen near the southern entrance produces large leaves over 12 inches long !
(Quercus cerris) is another oak found in Horndean. The leaves have more pointed lobes. Several found at Dell Piece West and Hazleton Common. This is the main species that hosts the Knopper gall wasp which has spread some years and occurs on Common oaks as well causing many acorns to develop in a distorted manner, almost every tree was affected in 2004 and 2008.
(Quercus ilex), a large evergreen oak with a few large specimens growing in Horndean. These and a few other oak species will be recorded in due course.
ANCIENT AND VETERAN OAKS
There are no really ancient or veteran trees in the Parish but many of the oaks are 300 years old or more and should be cared for and treasured as they will become the veterans of the future and will almost certainly outlive the recent houses built around them. There are at least 40 named oaks in Hampshire and it is time a few were named in Horndean. Details of the age and dating methods for oaks will be added later. In the meantime John Dryden wrote in the 17th century the following words ---
The monarch oak, the patriach of trees
These fine solitary oaks stand as sentinels over our countryside, and for those that frequently walk our local footpaths, they become familiar old friends. Through the years they have acted as landmarks. Their future is in the hands of local landowners, and now it is hoped there will be continued government support for the future management of our farmland trees and hedgerows. Some of them have become a favourite roost for Little Owls and can often be spotted on the lower branches of the first tree in our gallery. all our oaks provide essential habitats and shelter for a great variety of wildlife
(1) Oak with spreading branches about 20 metres into a field N.E. of Hinton Daubney at SU 68381427 viewed from a minor road where with careful observation Little Owls can sometimes be seen perched on the lower branches watching out for mice etc. and suddenly swooping down on their prey. Such trees provide excellent nesting places for owls.
(2) A solitary boundary oak but now isolated since boundaries have disappeared. N.W. of Hinton Manor and approached by F.P.41 at SU 68781559. Exposed and growing in very flinty soil, often a heap of flints at the base of the trunk, the lower part of which are several species of lichens.
(3) A fine spreading oak seen as you leave the village on the right along the Rowlands Castle Road at SU 706129. This tree is in the centre of a reserved site for housing so it will be important to ensure that a good sized green space surrounds it extending well beyond the canopy.
(4) A solitary oak near a small natural pond by F.P.25 (Monarch's Way) crossing a field S. of Pyle farm at SU 71341229. A healthy well balanced tree with some bat boxes attached and several lichens and mosses near base.
(5) Oak near FP from Catherington churchyard to The Lith at SU 69821439. The tree is exposed a not well shaped and is rather unbalanced.
(6) In a large field E. of Woodhouse Lane at SU 725130 Several fine spreading oaks probably once on lost boundaries and now surrounded by arable crops. Field in Rowland's Castle PC and best viewed from the end of Boyes Lane.
(7) Fine solitary oaks across a field south of Crabden Lane in Blendworth, probably the remains of an old boudary (a footpath passes across the field).
(8) A number of oaks remain in a field south of Hazleton Common (Just over the border in Havant BC) at SU 70251155. One of the oaks is stag-headed and all these trees are under threat from possible housing development to the south.
(9)Oaks across the field north of Day Lane (and Bird in Hand PH) SU683135, A footpath runs past from the corner of the field at Lovedean Lane.
(10) Solitary oaks in a field north of Day Lane, Lovedean at SU 682135
(11) The same oak seen from a footpath to the north at sunset on 1st March 2008 from SU681136 where it forms a prominent feature.
(12) Some of the oaks in the fields south west of Hambledon Road, Waterlooville. Will they survive the large housing development in this area ?
Web design by Digital Phenomena