Tree Spotlight: Oak

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An old oak tree

When you hear the expression ‘strong as Oak” you might think of the physical properties of the great Oak Tree (Quercus), but this expression goes much deeper than the mighty Oaks root system and storm resistant trunk.

According to mythologies (namely Greek), the Oak has been represented throughout time as a symbol of wisdom and the embodiment of strength, wisdom, and time. With the oldest Oak surpassing 300 years old, the tree has been  linked to the Greek God, Zeus (God of Thunder).

Outside the symbolic nature of this historic specimen, this tree is rich with uses for us, and animals including the production of acorns to feed farm stock, a home for many animals, strong wood for furniture, a strong root system to control erosion, and a beautiful species to have in your yard.

You can identify this tree by its iconic, multi pointed leaves, broad canopy, and strong lateral (main branches from the tree trunk. In its maturity, the tree seems to expand out as much as it grows taller leaving plenty of space for a swing, shade, or a place to have a family picnic.

A compilation of 3 oak tree images

The Oak is arguably the most famous tree, and for good reason… People simply love the symbolism, the history, and the look of this majestic tree. Not only does this tree make appearances throughout history, but also is the canvass behind some of the greatest Hollywood movies. Forest Gump (1994) uses this tree in the most famous scenes including Jenny and Forest sitting on the lowest branch, the row of Oaks in the ‘run Forest, run’ scene,(spoiler alert) it’s where forest lays Jenny to rest, and it symbolizes the strong, at-home consistency throughout the movie.

Planting one requires the placement of the tree in its permanent location, accommodating for the future growth of this tree. Thinking hundreds of years in the future is something that is requires foresight, and planning.

Preserving the Oak is an art in itself. For aesthetic and safety reasons, a full pruning every few years, as well as yearly fertilization will give you the best the Oak has to offer for the lifetime of your property.

Image Credits:
Oak on a Hill: Urnabios
Kids Running: Forest Gump / Paramount Pictures (1994)
Forest Walking Away: Forest Gump / Paramount Pictures (1994)

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