2,000-yr-old lime tree to get pruning
ONE of Britain's oldest trees, a small-leaved lime at the Forestry Commission's National Arboretum at Westonbirt, will be cut back this week as part of a tree management cycle dating back centuries.
A mix of traditional and modern techniques will be used to coppice – cut back to stumps – around 60 lime stems that have grown from an original tree thought to be over a thousand years old.
DNA tests carried out on this tree in the 1990s showed the clump originates from a single tree.
Experts agreed the size of the clump and its pattern of growth meant the lime is certainly ancient, and could even be up to 2,000 years old.
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Mark Ballard, of Westonbirt, said: "Cutting back the lime stems encourages new growth and keeps the tree healthy.
"It is what has kept this original lime alive for so many centuries."