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Giant Redwood - June 2020

Giant Redwood - June 2020
Thanks to Trish who wrote to tell us about her own Wellingtonia tree which used to be part of the Friar Park estate just over the road.

She wrote "There's a similar specimen over there, and another of about the same size on Gravel Hill, the main road from here into Henley town centre.

Our tree is 30m tall, as measured by a drone. It's much used by ravens, tawny owls, and red kites. We've nicknamed it The Admiral, partly in homage to General Sherman and all, and partly because one of my ancestors, who lived not far from here, was an admiral.

You'll see from the attached photos of our tree that there's a tree house/deck below the first branches. That was already in situ when we moved here, and our tree surgeon has assured us that it will do no harm.
"

The tree house/deck is quite novel in that I had not yet come across one that has been built around a Redwood tree. It's nice to hear that it's being used by local bird life and I like the name you've given it!

It's interesting that you measured the height of your tree with a drone, this idea had never occured to me until someone wrote in a month or two back, suggesting it was a method he might use to measure his trees. I expect this method will grow in popularity in coming years.

David wrote in January 2023 regarding the Giant Redwood specimen on Gravel Hill that was mentioned above by Trish: "This is probably the Redwood that I knew as a child in the Paradise House gardens. We visited on several occasions when we were evacuated to Fingest during WWII. It consisted of a three-bayed house with a large porch, Corinthian pillars, and projecting wings.

Formerly the home of John Zachary, a merchant, it was advertised in 1755 as 'new and well built', paved with marble, with a large garden. At some time Paradise House was owned by the Palmer Boteler family, and daughter Anne was married from there. In the 1940's there was a Redwood Tree in the garden which, when three of us reached around it, could not be spanned. The wall of the property on to Gravel Hill is still there and a listed building. The house was demolished possibly in the 1970's and up market houses built on the site. We don't know the name of the family that owned Paradise House during WWII but seem to remember it was a Major and Lady something."


We often say that when one Redwood is found, there are often one or two others within a short distance. If any readers have any photographs of the tree on Gravel Hill we would be very pleased to hear from them.


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