Nick Dunn from Frank P Matthews helps save Royal Oak

A gardener from English Heritage has collected the DNA from the famous Royal Oak at Boscobel House in Shropshire with the help of master propagator, Nick Dunn.

Nick Dunn
Nick Dunn

Using a mobile platform, lifted up to the highest parts of the tree, Dunn collected young healthy shoots to propagate by grafting. The oaks from this DNA material will then be grown on and planted in the field surrounding the existing 'Royal Oak' to create a new woodland which, after a few years, will be 'pollarded'. English Heritage will begin replanting next autumn as part of a wider plan to recreate the woodland that once surrounded the ancient tree and restore the gardens at Boscobel.

Famous for being the hiding place of King Charles II after defeat at the last battle of the English Civil War in 1651, the 'Royal Oak' is the origin of the name of many UK pubs so named after the famous tree. The tree has been replicated just once before in the form of the 'Victoria Oak' planted in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

This task is just a few of the 'tree rescue' and special propagation projects that Frank P Matthews are getting involved with using their new propagation facility to engage in more specialist grafting and growing ventures.

Dunn said: "Our specialist propagation skills naturally lend themselves to interesting projects such as these and we are keen to help preserve important varieties for the future. Recent investment in our propagation facilities will help support these projects and our continually expanding nursery production."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



Versatile and tough, this genus is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soils, says Miranda Kimberley.

How are employers in horticulture developing their offer to staff?

How are employers in horticulture developing their offer to staff?

Thanks to a skills shortage in horticulture, employers are working hard to enhance their offer to new recruits -- from training to profit-share schemes. Rachel Anderson reports on developments at six firms in very different branches of the industry.

What's new from suppliers of LEDs?

What's new from suppliers of LEDs?

LEDs can improve quality, efficiency and productivity in glasshouses and the market is booming, Sally Drury reports.

Opinion... Experience should not be undervalued

Opinion... Experience should not be undervalued

St Peter's Church in Martley, Worcestershire, was packed to standing room only for the memorial service and celebration of Mike Dunnett's life.

Opinion... Strategy needed to boost production

Opinion... Strategy needed to boost production

We face a great opportunity to increase the UK's production of nursery stock, but it will not be exploited without a strategic plan.

Opinion... quality shines out at industry events

Opinion... quality shines out at industry events

It is always a pleasure to see things done well and there were three good examples in Hertfordshire recently.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 70 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles