The oldest oak tree in the Netherlands is most likely located in Den Hout. It’s the Sacred Oak, a battered tree that doesn’t look too special, and was always thought to be no more than three hundred years old. Research now shows that the oak is ‘an ancient veteran’ and must be between six and eight hundred years old.

    Joris Hellevoort, forester at the Utrecht Landscape, delved into the history of the elderly oak tree, reports Trouw Tuesday. He did this for his book ‘The roots of our country, cultural history of 21 famous trees’, which will be published this month.

    ‘Plant year around 1250’
    “The planting year will have to be around 1250. We will never know for sure, but the oak from Den Hout is between six hundred and eight hundred years old,” concludes the forester.

    Derelict, veteran state
    Hellevoort discovered a print by painter Paul Tétar van Elven from 1877 in a museum, in which the impressive decayed oak can be seen. Even then, the tree was in a dilapidated, veteran state. This is the last phase of an oak’s life, which can last a very long time, according to the forester.

    The Heilige Eik van Den Hout previously finished in number five in the competition for the oldest, most beautiful and most special trees in Brabant.

    Two other oak trees, which were always thought to be the oldest in the Netherlands, are now moving up a place on the list. It concerns the Thousand Year Oak of Doornenburg in Gelderland, which is estimated to be six hundred years old, and De Kroezenboom in Fleringen in Overijssel, which is probably five hundred years old.

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