The Pinsapos of Sierra Bermeja – A Refuge for the Rare Fir Trees

Pinsapos, or Spanish fir trees, are only found in a few places on Earth. One of the largest pinsapo forests is in Spain’s Sierra Bermeja.

Pinsapos, or Spanish Fir trees, are exceptionally rare. They are found in just a few mountain ranges in Andalusia and Morocco, with one of the largest pinsapo forests located in the volcanic soil of Sierra Bermeja. It was here that the trees were first introduced to the world of science in 1837, and today it remains one of the best places to visit these spectacular trees.

Continue reading “The Pinsapos of Sierra Bermeja – A Refuge for the Rare Fir Trees”

The Oldest Tree in Paris – The Robinia Tree of Square René Viviani

The oldest tree in Paris is a more than 400 year old robinia (black locust) brought over to Europe by 17th century botanist Jean Robin.

Widely renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris has a lot going for it. A complete redesign of the city in the 19th century gave the ‘city of light’ its trademark wide avenues, with ample urban foliage to shade Parisians and tourists alike. However, the robinia tree of Square René Viviani predates all of this, linking all the way back to the colonial age. Continue reading “The Oldest Tree in Paris – The Robinia Tree of Square René Viviani”

The Oldest and Largest Chestnut Tree in the World – The Hundred Horse Chestnut

There are many large sweet chestnut trees throughout Europe, but none can match up to the legendary Hundred Horse Chestnut in eastern Sicily.

There are many large sweet chestnut trees throughout Europe, but none can match up to the legendary Hundred Horse Chestnut in eastern Sicily. The ancient tree’s story goes back thousands of years, an incredible feat considering its location just a few kilometers from one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Continue reading “The Oldest and Largest Chestnut Tree in the World – The Hundred Horse Chestnut”

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.

March 2018 update: The Whistler Tree has been named the 2018 European Tree of the Year. It couldn’t have gone to a more deserving tree!

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”