Archive for October, 2007

The ancient oaks of Parque National da Peneda- Geres, northern Portugal.

Ted meets Henrique Carvalho and Snr Antonio and an ancient Portugese oak.Many of the largest oaks of the Parque National da Peneda-Geres are in the Mate da Albergaria near the Portela de Leonte at 855m. Here there are in total about 5000 ha of ancient oak wood pasture  and possibly 1000 big old oaks. They say in this part of the Europe “9 months of winter and 3 months of hell” and for the oaks here the temperature can rise to 35-40 degrees Centigrade in summer and down to more than – 5 degrees C in winter. Clearly it is fine for these old trees that appear happy on the acid granite rocks of the area. Sadly the forest stops at the Spanish border. On the spanish side of the mountain the forest has been lost completely by fire.

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Ted and Jill in northern Portugal

High in the mountains of the Parque National de Peneda – Geres we were shown some magnificent old pedunculate oaks. The area is still grazed by rare, traditional breed horses and local cattle. This is a wonderful ‘find’ of some internationally important old growth forest – another big blob for our map. The trees are scattered across the hillside and there may be as many as 1000 old oaks in this area. The romans were here too and left some amazing pillars of granite on which they carved all sorts of detail including how they made their roads and who was the Emperor at the time.

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The rarest ancient trees in Europe?

Ted and Jill look at a great big old European white elm, Ulmus laevis with Dr. Ing. Petr Madera from Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Brno. One of the trees he has recorded in the book – Remarkable trees and other dendrological points of interest in the Lower Morava Biosphere Reserve. Lower Morava is in one of the warmest and driest parts of Czech Republic. The trees lie within a World Heritage Site which has mediaeval origins, it was the summer residence of the Leichtenstein family .

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Czech out this wonderful old oak tree.

Jarik Kolarik, one of the leading arborists in the Czech Republic talks about a very fat old oak in the border area south of Brno next to Austria and Slovakia. It appears to be growing much faster than similar trees in the UK. Ted and Jill visit this tree with the participants of the Trees of Life conference at which they both spoke. See events pages for details of the conference organised by the Czech Chapter of the International Society of Arborists.

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