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The Major Oak – The Ancient Giant of Sherwood Forest

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. Read More

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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, 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! Read More

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The Biblical Olive Trees – The Garden of Gethsemane

Olive trees have been a boon to civilization for millennia. The oil extracted from olives can be used for everything from fuel for lanterns to medicinal balms to an essential ingredient in foods. It’s easy to understand why the tree was incorporated into so many early religious practices, but near the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, a grove of olive trees in Gethsemane provides a direct link to ancient biblical stories. Read More

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Ogawa’s Sacred Cedar – A 780 Million Yen Rescue Mission

It’s no small wonder that trees have such an important role in Japanese culture. Even in the heavily industrialized country that it’s become, forests still cover more than two thirds of Japan’s land area. Early on in the modern era, the Japanese government began a program to protect its natural treasures. There is no better example of Japan’s commitment to saving their natural monuments than the incredible story of Ogawachi no sugi, or Ogawa’s Cedar. Read More

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The Inga Trees of South America – Ice Cream that Grows on a Tree

It’s now summer in South America, where everyone’s favorite summer snack – ice cream – literally grows on trees! Inga, or ice cream beans, grow plentifully throughout South and Central America, and in addition to their sweet tasting pulp, they have incredible soil regenerating properties that have the potential to combat destructive slash and burn practices in South America’s rainforests. Read More

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Portugal’s Prize Cork Oak – The Whistler Tree

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. Read More