The oak tree
Many other trees are renowned for their supremacy. We all know what are the tallest trees in the world: the famous Sequoias of North America, which reach up to 120 meters high, while an oak (Quercus Cerris) will reach about 40 meters.
If we talk in terms of wood strength, surely the record goes to the Ebony, the Teak, or the Ipè, all tropical trees nicknamed “ironwood”.Is the Oak the most long-living tree? Absolutely not! The primacy goes to some specimens of conifers in California or to the Olive Trees in Sardinia that are 4000 years old.If we take into consideration the fastest growing trees, the oak will surely be behind its friends, Poplars, Maples and Pines or even to the Malaysian Albizia tree that grows about 3 centimeters per day.So, how does the Oak tree excel? Its specialty is precisely to ‘not be special’. It can’t be placed in a niche, it is in no category.Primacy trees grow only in specific areas, while our friend – the strong, flexible and durable Oak – can be found almost everywhere. From North America to Mexico, Central Europe and along the temperate zone it is easy to spot this coriaceous tree. Across the Italian peninsula it is the undisputed “Queen of the Woods”.The oak tree is a universally well-known precisely because it has spread to many areas of the world. It has been and continues to be the companion and the accomplice of human beings in their journey of evolution.
In the Celtic language the word Oak means “beautiful tree”. In fact, just as it appears to our eyes is big, elegant, sinuous and strong. For the ancient it was a symbol of fertility and a good omen for the family. It was the tree of life.Humankind owes much to the oak tree, which provided the first dwellings of our ancestors, with timber to build, warm up, and its fruit to feed: the acorn.Hard to believe but before even inventing agriculture, humans ate acorns! Obviously through a cooking process as without it, they are inedible.
As a tree farmer, walking amongst its branches is a charming feel. Whenever I am on a big Oak tree I feel safe and protected as a child in its mothers arms!When, for the first time, I will land on Australia’s soil I know that I will be amazed and fascinated by the large and imposing Eucalyptus trees, and by other trees I have never seen. But one thing for sure… I will be looking for my old friend the Oak tree.