300 Years Ago a Walnut Started to Grow


When I heard about a 300 year old walnut tree growing in a field close to where I live, I grabbed my camera, measuring tape, wellies and husband and headed for the door!

Walnut Tree

You don’t see many old walnut trees… in fact I haven’t seen that many walnut trees full-stop.

Standing in the pretty village of Sturminster Marshall, near to the banks of the river Stour, this tree really is something to behold. It’s girth measures a whopping 4 metres 8 centimetres (the photo doesn’t do it justice!), and although it was badly damaged in the storms of 1987 it still seems to be doing well.

Pollarding of some of it’s branches took place recently to encourage new growth, which judging by the twigs at the top of the tree seems to have worked well.

Like most old trees it has many hollow branches and a hollow trunk. It also has some pretty strange fungi growing on it, which I haven’t been able to identify yet.

Fungi on Walnut Tree

Fungi on the Walnut Tree

Luckily the locals of Sturminster Marshall love this tree so much that the field it stands in has been designated a local nature reserve (LNR). Hopefully this should ensure it’s protection for many years to come, but just to be on the safe side I will be adding it to the Ancient Tree Hunt database.

I for one will be back to see it in all it’s splendour in the Spring and maybe to collect some walnuts in the Autumn!

14 thoughts on “300 Years Ago a Walnut Started to Grow

  1. That’s quite something, a walnut that old. At first thought the fungi were stones someone had put in there. I’ll have a look in my fugi book to see if I can find them.

  2. Pingback: Festival of the Trees, #19 « Hoarded Ordinaries

  3. hi there, I recently moved into a house with an old english type garden, house dates back to 16c and I think we have a walnut tree on the top lawn.. I an no expert and wondered how I can be sure. I also seem to have a huge fig tree and a gum tree amongst others.
    If anyone can help, please let me know all the best

  4. Hi Peter. You don’t say in your message what country you are in, however, there are some easy ways to find out what your trees are. At this time of the year (if you are in Europe) you should start seeing the buds on the trees. They are very particular for each tree.

    The Walnut (if it is one) will have dark purplish-brown buds (if a common walnut) or pale brown buds if a black walnut.

    You can find more info on both at http://www.tree-shop.co.uk/ or at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_regia or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_nigra

    You should be able to find info about the other trees as well. I was also given a good little book called the Hamlyn Guide to Trees of Britain and Europe… which is really useful.

    Hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by! Jane

  5. What is the fungus thats on the tree?
    Ive seen some very similar at Swithland Woods in Leicestershire and Im curious as to what it is!!

  6. Thanks for your comment Amanda. You know, I still don’t know for sure. I will try and show the picture to a couple of my “fungi” friends. See if they have any ideas. Watch this space… Jane

  7. Hi again Amanda. I think it’s “Daldinia concentrica common name, King Arthur’s cakes” Which is known to live on old walnut trees. I hope this helps. Jane

  8. i have a walnut tree and it must be ancient as it is huge even a camera would say so sometimes i see a man come for its nuts and there are so many he says he known it from youth and he plenty older than me however i live in the sticks for thirteen years had childrren here annd divorced and i find it mystical and secret like the secret garden in the winter its gruesome but in the spring its a picture book all welcome to stay and see

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s