When the provost of one of the colleges [at Oxford] makes his annual tour of inspection, traipsing from the cellars to leads (as the rooftops are called) he discovers to his dismay that the vast timbers framing the Great Hall have weakened over the centuries since it was built and needed to be replaced. Despairing that no such massive timbers were likely to be found at the local timberyard, he is directed by an old greybeard retainer of the college to speak with the woodsman in charge of a farm owned by the College. When he arrives there, on the outskirts of Oxford, he is led into a copse of enormous oaks. When he exclaims that they are the solution to his problem, the woodsman replies, “Yes, I know. We were expecting you about now.”
—Austin Tappan King.