The tree, which was felled on the Blenheim Estate as part of an education project run by woodland charity Sylva Foundation, is currently being used in the making of dozens of wooden items including furniture, buildings, joinery, arts and craft. More unusually, celebrity chef Raymond Blanc has selected sawdust and wood shavings from the OneOak tree to produce a dish using “OneOak-smoked salmon” at his Michelin- starred Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons restaurant in Great Milton.
The tree was 222-years-old when it was felled in January 2010 and has since been studied by dozens of scientists, making it one of the most observed trees in the UK. Hundreds of Oxfordshire primary schoolchildren returned to the site in January 2011 to plant a new oak forest of 250 seedlings.
The specially 'smoked' slow-cooked salmon will be on the menu at Le Manoir from April accompanied by cucumber, Wasabi dressing and pickled mouli. OneOak project manager Dr Gabriel Hemery said: “Using the sawdust and wood shavings from the OneOak tree to smoke food demonstrates the sustainable nature of growing and using trees, especially when they are used locally.
"What could have been seen as a waste product, the by-product of creating wood items, has instead produced something of high value, culturally and economically.”
Raymond Blanc said: “when I first heard about the OneOak project I was immediately impressed by the educational aims of the project. What really interests me is how a locally grown tree can support so many different local businesses.
“Lastly, but not at all least, it will help to create and even better dish here at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.”