Tuesday 12 November 2019

Heritage Park to unveil ancient tree in Bronze Age area

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

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'.

Wexford People

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