Her­itage Park to un­veil an­cient tree in Bronze Age area

Wexford People - - NEWS - By ANNA HAYES

A UNIQUE new in­stal­la­tion at the Ir­ish Na­tional Her­itage Park will be un­veiled on Mon­day morn­ing in the shape of a fos­silised Scots Pine tree dat­ing back to the Bronze Age.

The 4,000 year old ‘Wit­ness Tree’, which is about 14 foot long, will be mounted hor­i­zon­tally on a site near the Bronze Age sec­tion of the park with an in­for­ma­tion board alnog­side it.

The tree was dis­cov­ered in Kerry in 1986 by Michael Car­roll who found it while he was search­ing for bog oak to in­dulge his pas­sion for ‘found art’.

Michael had the pres­ence of mind to re­alise that he had stum­bled upon the re­mains of some­thing that was truly an­cient and he sent a sam­ple of the log to the US where ra­dio­car­bon dat­ing re­vealed its as­ton­ish­ing age. The tree was grow­ing dur­ing the last phase of con­struc­tion at Stone­henge and when the Pyra­mids of Egypt were still be­ing built.

Out­door Park Man­ager at the INHP, Chris Hayes said the idea was to plant more Scots Pine trees around the area to cre­ate a grove of them. He added that the tree was a fos­sil and the park would have an on­go­ing main­te­nance plan for it which mainly in­volved treat­ing it with lin­seed oil to pre­vent damage from wildlife.

He ex­plained that David Car­roll, son of the late Michael Car­roll, had con­tacted him late last year in re­la­tion to find­ing a home for the unique find.

‘It fits per­fectly with what we’re about in the park so it was a no-brainer for us. It was a mat­ter of find­ing the right place for it and, go­ing by the timeline, it fits per­fectly in the Bronze Age.’

The Car­roll fam­ily will at­tend Mon­day’s event and will plant the first new Scots Pine tree along­side the ‘Wit­ness Tree’.

The ‘Wit­ness Tree’ which will be un­veiled at the Ir­ish Na­tional Her­itage Park next week.

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