To seek out the shelter of your comforting embrace, the Pontfadog oak Tree,
Delicate and tender and ancient
of joy, sacred to the existence of thee
to the form of the Pontfadog oak with
Every root entwining with another
Each branch signifys rebirth and life where souls come to live
A joy behold in green sweeping leaves
From nature’s womb conceived.
In the summer leaves though… there
Yet it shall be spring!
So let down your branches and bring
Sing cry your joy for even as the darkness comes strength
Standing tall over kings symbolising rebirth
An oak of grace to me and
Strong as she is beautiful to me.
The Pontfadog oak was the oldest tree in Wales, the third largest in Britain and one of the oldest in Europe. It was lying in the sunshine, its roots pointing skywards, gnarled trunk collapsed and piles of branches, decayed wood, lichens, fungi, nests and bark in the grass around it.
Its massive, hollow bole had crushed a metal gate as it had fallen and the tips of its branches, which had been about to burst into leaf, for over 1200 years if had been called “Wales’s national tree”, whose girth had been measured at over 53ft in 1881.
This medieval relic, had been seeded several centuries before most cathedrals were built, and well before the land to the east of Offa’s dyke.
This tree emerged from Wales’s greatest history. It alone was said to have been spared when King Henry II’s men razed the Ceiriog Woods in 1165.
The Welsh prince Owain Gwynedd is believed to have then rallied his army beneath it before taking on, and defeating, the English at the battle of Crogen.
Vidal, John (2013-04-28). The Observer
Anon (2013-04-19). BBC Online.
The Guardian UK