The Major Oak – The Ancient Giant of Sherwood Forest

The Major Oak attracts up to 1 million tourists each year, many of which are looking to capture some of the magic of the legend of Robin Hood.

Thanks to the legend of Robin Hood, Sherwood forest has become one of the most well known places in all of England. It attracts up to 1 million tourists each year, many of which are looking to capture some of the magic of the legend. One of the largest oak trees in the country, the Major Oak, is right at the center of the legend as the reported home base of Robin and his band of merry men. Continue reading “The Major Oak – The Ancient Giant of Sherwood Forest”

The Mystery of the Crooked Forest – Poland’s Krzywy Las

In Poland’s Krzywy Las, or Crooked Forest, a group of pine trees grows sideways at the base, prompting all kinds of creative theories about their origin, including gravity fluctuations, Nazis, and even aliens.

Trees can come in all shapes and sizes, but most species follow the same patterns as they reach toward the sun. In Poland’s Krzywy Las, or Crooked Forest, however, a group of about 80 pine trees breaks all norms by growing sideways at the base, prompting all kinds of creative theories about their origin, including gravity fluctuations, Nazis, and even aliens. Continue reading “The Mystery of the Crooked Forest – Poland’s Krzywy Las”

The European Tree of the Year Competition Commences

As of February 1st, voting for the 8th annual European Tree of the Year competition is open. This year there are 13 monumental trees from 13 countries all around Europe.

As of February 1st, voting for the 8th annual European Tree of the Year competition is open. This year there are 13 monumental trees from 13 countries all around Europe, with Croatia, Portugal, Romania, and Russia making their first appearances. Each year more than 200,000 votes are tallied (you can vote for up to two trees), so check out the nominees below and get out the vote! Continue reading “The European Tree of the Year Competition Commences”

Portugal’s Prize Cork Oak – The Whistler Tree

Cork is a versatile material can be harvested many times throughout a tree’s lifetime, but one particular tree in Portugal is so large that it produced more cork in a single harvest than most others in their entire life cycles.

Trees can be useful in many ways. They can provide food through fruits or nuts, building materials by milling their trunks, or shade in cities beneath their canopies. But the Quercus suber has been used for centuries for a different purpose: its bark is the source of cork. The versatile material can be harvested many times throughout a tree’s lifetime, but one particular tree in Portugal is so large that it produced more cork in a single harvest than most others in their entire life cycles. Continue reading “Portugal’s Prize Cork Oak – The Whistler Tree”

Photo Showdown – The Sycamore Gap

The Sycamore Gap tree is located in a dip in the landscape along Hadrian’s Wall. The tree grows right along the path that attracts thousands of visitors each year, so it quickly became one of the most photographed trees in the UK.

Many readers have commented about the photos used on this blog, so I wanted to feature a few photos that I come across that don’t quite fit into a full length article. Each week, I’ll select two photos (with creative commons licenses) from the web of the same tree, and readers can decide which photo best captures the spirit of the tree. For this inaugural edition, I’ve chosen the Sycamore Gap tree located in Northumberland, England. Continue reading “Photo Showdown – The Sycamore Gap”

The Tree of Hippocrates – A Living Link to the Father of Medicine

Trees can enter history books around the world for a number of reasons. Sometimes they live longer, grow taller, or extend over a wider region than their peers. Other times, they are simply in the right place at the right time to make an impact. The Tree of Hippocrates is one such example.

Trees can move from relative obscurity into history books around the world for a number of reasons. Sometimes they live longer, grow taller, or extend over a wider region than their peers. Other times, they are simply in the right place at the right time to make an impact. The Tree of Hippocrates is one such example. It bore witness to the teachings of one of the most significant minds in history. Continue reading “The Tree of Hippocrates – A Living Link to the Father of Medicine”

The Not-So-Puzzling History of the Monkey Puzzle Tree

The araucaria araucana is certainly a peculiar tree. Chile’s national tree is originally from high in the mountains of Patagonia, but thanks to a strange twist of fate, it’s now common in Victorian gardens throughout the UK.

Whether called the Chilean Pine, Monkey Puzzle, or Pehuen, the araucaria araucana is certainly a peculiar tree. Chile’s national tree is originally from high in the mountains of Patagonia, but thanks to a strange twist of fate, it’s now common in Victorian gardens throughout the UK. Read full story