“Heritage Trees”: trees which have exceptional value because of their connection with our history and culture, and are considered irreplaceable. They may be of great age or size, have stories and events associated with them, or be special because of their place in the landscape or importance for wildlife.

The term ‘Ancient Tree’ encompasses:

  • Trees of interest biologically, aesthetically or culturally because of their great age
  • Trees in the ancient or third and final stage of their life
  • Trees that are the old relative to others of the same species.

or1eThis pollarded oak half-way down the Chestnut Walk is one of many examples in Knole Park:


‘Veteran Tree’ is usually in the second or mature stage of its life and has important wildlife and habitat features including; hollowing or associated decay fungi, holes, wounds and large dead branches. It will generally include old trees but also younger, middle aged trees where premature aging characteristics are present.








or1f“Champion Trees” are the largest examples of their species in the area, in terms of height, girth or bulk. Trees may be County, Country or National Champions. In Sevenoaks we have several National Champions, including a Quercus Petraea (Sessile Oak) in Knole Park, with a girth of 5.94m and height of 39m – the tallest in Britain (below).


Other trees may be “Notable“ because of some other significant characteristic: their location, aesthetic appearance, rarity or unusual features, ecological importance, or vulnerability (to human or natural actions).

or1g“Lost Trees” are those which no longer exist but were of particular importance, for example because of their age, size, history, or local significance – such as the six Vine Coronation Oaks laid low in the hurricane of 1987. The survivor is classed as a “Heritage” tree.

Photograph courtesy Bob Ogley