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”

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”

Postcard Post: The Yew of Aginalde

The Yew of Aginalde is located high in the mountains of the Gorbeia Natural Park in Spain’s Basque Country. Although they grow naturally in the area, there aren’t many yew trees left.

This is the first of a new series of posts at The Treeographer: the Postcard Post! I’ll write a short description of a tree and its surroundings, and at the end there is a FREE download of a ready to print postcard. Read full story

The Holy Chestnut Tree of Istan

As fall begins in Malaga, Spain, the smell of roasted sweet chestnuts fills the pedestrian streets of the city center. In the mountains above the small town of Istan, the ‘Holy Chestnut’ has grown for a thousand years.

As fall begins in Malaga, Spain, the smell of roasted sweet chestnuts fills the pedestrian streets of the city center. Chestnut trees were brought to Spain by the Romans thousands of years ago, and now grow all over the Iberian peninsula. In the mountains above the small town of Istan, the ‘Holy Chestnut’ has grown for a thousand years. Read full story

The Mother Tree – El Pinsapo de las Escaleretas

High in the mountains of Sierra de las Nieves natural park in the South of Spain, one Spanish fir tree (abies pinsapo) towers above its kin. 

High in the mountains of Sierra de las Nieves natural park in the South of Spain, one Spanish fir tree (abies pinsapo) towers above its kin.  Read full story

The Bear and the Strawberry Tree – the Story of the Symbol of Madrid

At the east end of Madrid’s iconic Puerta del Sol there is a tribute to another famous symbol of the city – the Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree.

At the center of Madrid’s radial road network lies one of the busiest places in the city – Puerta del Sol. The plaza in the heart of Madrid is one of the most symbolic places, visited not only by tourists but also by protesters, who famously flooded the square with tens of thousands of anti-austerity youths in May of 2011. But at the east end of the Puerta del Sol there is a tribute to another famous symbol of the city – the Statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree. Read full story

The Oaks of Galveston – a Link between the New World and Old

Although not native to the island, oak trees have become the signature tree of Galveston. The trees have been through a lot of changes in their lifetimes, and are now halfway across the world being transformed into a living history museum.

Galveston, Texas is known for beautiful scenery and historical buildings, and widely praised as a paradise getaway. A small island with just 50,000 permanent residents, the city brings in millions of tourists every year. Walking along its streets, visitor’s attention is drawn to the diverse flora that thrives in its subtropical climate. Although not native to the island, oak trees have become the signature tree of Galveston, both for their longevity and their toughness. These oaks have been through a lot of changes in their lifetimes, and are now halfway across the world being transformed into a living history museum. Read full story