• Whiteleaved Oak finally expires

    Sad day on Tuesday. I'd been told by someone at one of my recent talks that the celebrated Whiteleaved Oak had finally expired. Sitting on a small mound near the southern end of the Malvern Hills, the adjoining hamlet named after the tree (or its predecessor), the Whiteleaved Oak grew at the conjunction of three counties - Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire - as well as the meeting of several ley lines and had thus become a focal point for many people with a spiritual leaning. This had resulted in the tree hosting celebrations such as weddings, wakes, birthdays and anniversaries as well as gathering all manner of amulets and tokens of good luck, health and happiness (a tree sometimes called a rag tree or in Scotland a cloutie (cloth) tree - somewhat esoteric maybe, but rather beautiful in its own way.

    When I first met the tree back in 1990 I did get a certain sense of something special but inexplicable about the place & that was before so many followers had adopted it.

    How old was it? We can only guess, but 400-500 years wouldn't be out of the way. It will be missed by a host of tree lovers.

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