Tales of the Royal Oak

Oak treeNicola here. I’m away from my desk on a research trip at the moment so I’ve pulled up and re-written an old Wench classic post from more than ten years ago which I really enjoyed writing at the time and which feels appropriate all over again at the moment as we approach Royal Oak Day on May 29th.

Here in the Northern hemisphere the flowers and the trees are starting to look very lush as spring is slipping into summer. In the past couple of years I think I’ve been more aware than previously of the environment around me because of the restrictions on movement we’ve all been through as a result of the pandemic. I’ve always loved nature and the countryside but I’ve definitely looked at it more closely and taken more solace from it in the past months than ever before and one thing I do love is trees. I love their strength and their beauty and the way they can look so dead during the winter (unless they are evergreen!) and then leap into life all over again. I’ve also loved discovering trees we don’t have in England whenever I’ve travelled to other parts of the world. The Quiver Tree in Namibia was a particular favourite. A look at the list of “national trees” shows a huge and wonderful variety across the world.

In the UK and the US, it is the Oak tree that is considered the national tree. The Oak certainly has a long and special history. The Oak rear Celts, the Norse and the Germanic races held the oak as sacred from pre-Christian times. In Greek, Roman, Norse and Celtic cultures it was associated with the storm gods Esus, Zeus, Jupiter, Donar and Thor because its size and low electrical resistance makes it more prone to be struck by lightning than other woodland trees. It was also believed to be a tree of prophecy and a channel for communication with the Gods. There is something both stately and so magical about the oak that you can easily see how some people feel it has mystic powers.

Jane_Nasmyth_-_Wallace_OakThe association of oak trees and heroes also goes back a long way. The connection of hero and oak tree can be traced through King Arthur, whose Round Table was said to be hewn from a massive piece of oak and whose coffin at Glastonbury Abbey – if indeed the coffin was Arthur’s – was made from a hollowed out oak tree. Other oak trees that have been associated with British heroes include the Elderslie Oak (pictured), which was said to have sheltered William Wallace and 300 of his men (that must have been a BIG tree!) and Owen Glendower’s Oak from which tree he witnessed the battle between King Henry IV and Henry Percy. Even Queen Elizabeth I was said to have been standing under an oak tree at Hatfield House when she was said to have received the news that she had inherited the throne of England. And where else could Robin Hood have met his Merry Men than under the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest? The qualities of both hero and tree are entwined, representing strength, protection, durability, courage and truth.

The Royal Oak is the second most popular pub name in Britain, after the Red Lion. (Pub names are amazing, key words and phrases Download (14) that give clues to social and military history, folklore, national heroes and heroines, natural history, dialects, trades, industries and professions, sports and the sometimes-odd British sense of humour!) The original Royal Oak was the Boscobel Oak near Shifnal in Shropshire where King Charles II and Colonel Carless hid from noon to dusk after the Royalists’ defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.  The legend goes that Roundhead troops, searching for them everywhere, actually stood under the tree where they were hiding – then went on their way, unaware that the Royal fugitive was overhead!

Boscobel GardenAfter the Restoration in 1660, the 29th May, the King's birthday was declared Royal Oak Day and celebrations took place at Boscobel House (picture on the left) and around the country. Traditionally, celebrations often entailed the wearing of oak apples or sprigs of oak leaves and anyone who failed to wear a sprig of oak risked being pelted with bird's eggs or thrashed with nettles! Unfortunately it was the popular cult of the Boscobel Oak that killed the tree itself; it was dead by the end of the nineteenth century because patriotic souvenir-hunters tore off its branches, thereby hastening its demise. However, there is a new “Royal Oak” at Boscobel House these days, said to be an offspring of the original. Although the public holiday for Royal Oak Day was abolished in the 1850s, every year on 29th May there are celebrations at Boscobel and Moseley Old Hall, another place that sheltered Charles on his escape, as well as in other places around the country. This year is the 370th anniversary of the battle and Charles’ daring cross-country chase to freedom!

There weren’t always as many oak trees in England as there are now. In the 18th century, writers Acorns warned that the oak was in danger from the gentry who were squandering the future by leaving woodlands to be destroyed by animals protected for the hunt, frittering away the birthright of future Britons so they might fund their passions for "horses and dogs, wine and women, cards and folly". It was left to the newly formed Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts to change attitudes. The Society offered prizes to those who planted the most trees. As a result, acorn fever took hold in Britain. Great aristocrats planted acre after acre of oak trees. Naval officers on leave, like Admiral Collingwood, went around surreptitiously scattering acorns from holes in his breeches. It’s no wonder the oak made a good recovery!

BonsaiIn my garden there’s only one space for one big tree and it’s a silver birch which I think looks absolutely beautiful even though it sheds seed pods everywhere in the autumn! Our closest ancient oaks are at Ashdown Woods, where there is one that is at least 1000 years old. But trees don’t have to be ancient – or huge – to be important to people. We recently tried to grow two tiny bonsai trees which were amazing little things and we have two dwarf acer trees which are very beautiful.

What trees grow in your part of the world? Do you have a favourite tree in your garden or somewhere you like to visit? Have you ever tried growing a bonsai or a dwarf tree?

110 thoughts on “Tales of the Royal Oak”

  1. Fascinating, Nicola! I particularly like the idea that Elizabeth was under an oak tree when she received the news that she had become Queen of England–a clear connection of royalty and oak,
    I’ve had a couple of bonsai trees which I most enjoyed, until they gave up, probably from being forced to live in such a small spot. As for trees in my part of the world, the northeastern US, the maple is much loved for its color and its lovely maple syrup.

    Reply
  2. Fascinating, Nicola! I particularly like the idea that Elizabeth was under an oak tree when she received the news that she had become Queen of England–a clear connection of royalty and oak,
    I’ve had a couple of bonsai trees which I most enjoyed, until they gave up, probably from being forced to live in such a small spot. As for trees in my part of the world, the northeastern US, the maple is much loved for its color and its lovely maple syrup.

    Reply
  3. Fascinating, Nicola! I particularly like the idea that Elizabeth was under an oak tree when she received the news that she had become Queen of England–a clear connection of royalty and oak,
    I’ve had a couple of bonsai trees which I most enjoyed, until they gave up, probably from being forced to live in such a small spot. As for trees in my part of the world, the northeastern US, the maple is much loved for its color and its lovely maple syrup.

    Reply
  4. Fascinating, Nicola! I particularly like the idea that Elizabeth was under an oak tree when she received the news that she had become Queen of England–a clear connection of royalty and oak,
    I’ve had a couple of bonsai trees which I most enjoyed, until they gave up, probably from being forced to live in such a small spot. As for trees in my part of the world, the northeastern US, the maple is much loved for its color and its lovely maple syrup.

    Reply
  5. Fascinating, Nicola! I particularly like the idea that Elizabeth was under an oak tree when she received the news that she had become Queen of England–a clear connection of royalty and oak,
    I’ve had a couple of bonsai trees which I most enjoyed, until they gave up, probably from being forced to live in such a small spot. As for trees in my part of the world, the northeastern US, the maple is much loved for its color and its lovely maple syrup.

    Reply
  6. I’m reminded of a tree that my sister, cousins, and I used to play in, on, and under that we named ‘the kitchen tree.’ This was near the Rose Garden in Auckland, NZ. When my husband and I traveled to NZ, his first time there and my first visit in forty years, the kitchen tree was one of the few places I wanted to see. You know how things/places from your childhood are always smaller than you remember? This was far, far larger than I’d remembered. Three hundred people could easily stand under this tree!
    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Nicola.

    Reply
  7. I’m reminded of a tree that my sister, cousins, and I used to play in, on, and under that we named ‘the kitchen tree.’ This was near the Rose Garden in Auckland, NZ. When my husband and I traveled to NZ, his first time there and my first visit in forty years, the kitchen tree was one of the few places I wanted to see. You know how things/places from your childhood are always smaller than you remember? This was far, far larger than I’d remembered. Three hundred people could easily stand under this tree!
    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Nicola.

    Reply
  8. I’m reminded of a tree that my sister, cousins, and I used to play in, on, and under that we named ‘the kitchen tree.’ This was near the Rose Garden in Auckland, NZ. When my husband and I traveled to NZ, his first time there and my first visit in forty years, the kitchen tree was one of the few places I wanted to see. You know how things/places from your childhood are always smaller than you remember? This was far, far larger than I’d remembered. Three hundred people could easily stand under this tree!
    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Nicola.

    Reply
  9. I’m reminded of a tree that my sister, cousins, and I used to play in, on, and under that we named ‘the kitchen tree.’ This was near the Rose Garden in Auckland, NZ. When my husband and I traveled to NZ, his first time there and my first visit in forty years, the kitchen tree was one of the few places I wanted to see. You know how things/places from your childhood are always smaller than you remember? This was far, far larger than I’d remembered. Three hundred people could easily stand under this tree!
    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Nicola.

    Reply
  10. I’m reminded of a tree that my sister, cousins, and I used to play in, on, and under that we named ‘the kitchen tree.’ This was near the Rose Garden in Auckland, NZ. When my husband and I traveled to NZ, his first time there and my first visit in forty years, the kitchen tree was one of the few places I wanted to see. You know how things/places from your childhood are always smaller than you remember? This was far, far larger than I’d remembered. Three hundred people could easily stand under this tree!
    Thanks for an enjoyable post, Nicola.

    Reply
  11. My favorite tree is the maple tree; I like all trees, but the house of my childhood had a maple tree growing at the edge if the yard by the back sidewalk. Our house was a corner lot and this tree grew from the edge of the terrace to the sidewalk. I used the roots as the stairs instead of using the actual stairs right next to it. And I planned many imaginary scenes among those roots!

    Reply
  12. My favorite tree is the maple tree; I like all trees, but the house of my childhood had a maple tree growing at the edge if the yard by the back sidewalk. Our house was a corner lot and this tree grew from the edge of the terrace to the sidewalk. I used the roots as the stairs instead of using the actual stairs right next to it. And I planned many imaginary scenes among those roots!

    Reply
  13. My favorite tree is the maple tree; I like all trees, but the house of my childhood had a maple tree growing at the edge if the yard by the back sidewalk. Our house was a corner lot and this tree grew from the edge of the terrace to the sidewalk. I used the roots as the stairs instead of using the actual stairs right next to it. And I planned many imaginary scenes among those roots!

    Reply
  14. My favorite tree is the maple tree; I like all trees, but the house of my childhood had a maple tree growing at the edge if the yard by the back sidewalk. Our house was a corner lot and this tree grew from the edge of the terrace to the sidewalk. I used the roots as the stairs instead of using the actual stairs right next to it. And I planned many imaginary scenes among those roots!

    Reply
  15. My favorite tree is the maple tree; I like all trees, but the house of my childhood had a maple tree growing at the edge if the yard by the back sidewalk. Our house was a corner lot and this tree grew from the edge of the terrace to the sidewalk. I used the roots as the stairs instead of using the actual stairs right next to it. And I planned many imaginary scenes among those roots!

    Reply
  16. We might have more oak trees here in Finland than we have now if John III of Sweden wouldn’t have given the oh so stupid order to protect the oak trees, which had exactly an opposite result. Peasants didn’t wish to grow useless “King’s Trees” (after all, if you couldn’t cut them down or even let your animals to eat the acorns, the trees were pretty useless for ordinary people). So instead, every time peasants saw a seedling of an oak tree, they would just pull it out of the ground.
    Last fall I bought some acorns (and some hazelnuts) and planted them in a flowerpot. If they start growing our birds and squirrels might have eventually have some more food to eat at winter.

    Reply
  17. We might have more oak trees here in Finland than we have now if John III of Sweden wouldn’t have given the oh so stupid order to protect the oak trees, which had exactly an opposite result. Peasants didn’t wish to grow useless “King’s Trees” (after all, if you couldn’t cut them down or even let your animals to eat the acorns, the trees were pretty useless for ordinary people). So instead, every time peasants saw a seedling of an oak tree, they would just pull it out of the ground.
    Last fall I bought some acorns (and some hazelnuts) and planted them in a flowerpot. If they start growing our birds and squirrels might have eventually have some more food to eat at winter.

    Reply
  18. We might have more oak trees here in Finland than we have now if John III of Sweden wouldn’t have given the oh so stupid order to protect the oak trees, which had exactly an opposite result. Peasants didn’t wish to grow useless “King’s Trees” (after all, if you couldn’t cut them down or even let your animals to eat the acorns, the trees were pretty useless for ordinary people). So instead, every time peasants saw a seedling of an oak tree, they would just pull it out of the ground.
    Last fall I bought some acorns (and some hazelnuts) and planted them in a flowerpot. If they start growing our birds and squirrels might have eventually have some more food to eat at winter.

    Reply
  19. We might have more oak trees here in Finland than we have now if John III of Sweden wouldn’t have given the oh so stupid order to protect the oak trees, which had exactly an opposite result. Peasants didn’t wish to grow useless “King’s Trees” (after all, if you couldn’t cut them down or even let your animals to eat the acorns, the trees were pretty useless for ordinary people). So instead, every time peasants saw a seedling of an oak tree, they would just pull it out of the ground.
    Last fall I bought some acorns (and some hazelnuts) and planted them in a flowerpot. If they start growing our birds and squirrels might have eventually have some more food to eat at winter.

    Reply
  20. We might have more oak trees here in Finland than we have now if John III of Sweden wouldn’t have given the oh so stupid order to protect the oak trees, which had exactly an opposite result. Peasants didn’t wish to grow useless “King’s Trees” (after all, if you couldn’t cut them down or even let your animals to eat the acorns, the trees were pretty useless for ordinary people). So instead, every time peasants saw a seedling of an oak tree, they would just pull it out of the ground.
    Last fall I bought some acorns (and some hazelnuts) and planted them in a flowerpot. If they start growing our birds and squirrels might have eventually have some more food to eat at winter.

    Reply
  21. During the pandemic, I have been enjoying picnics and have some favorite sites. Top pick is a car park on the Malvern Hills with views to Wales and the Black mountains with the Brecon Beacons just visible on the horizon. Featured against a large sky there are beautiful trees with their fractal patterns of branches incredibly beautiful and to me, better than any man made sculpture. Over winter with the leaves fallen these patterns are greatly enhanced but with the current greening, the shapes are again subtly changing to a different lusher kind of beauty. Every week brings new interest. Also the verges of English lanes are being left untrimmed, to encourage wild life and the emerging wild flowers are an absolute delight, especially the wild parsley and blue bells along wooded banks. It is currently a joy to be alive in the English countryside!

    Reply
  22. During the pandemic, I have been enjoying picnics and have some favorite sites. Top pick is a car park on the Malvern Hills with views to Wales and the Black mountains with the Brecon Beacons just visible on the horizon. Featured against a large sky there are beautiful trees with their fractal patterns of branches incredibly beautiful and to me, better than any man made sculpture. Over winter with the leaves fallen these patterns are greatly enhanced but with the current greening, the shapes are again subtly changing to a different lusher kind of beauty. Every week brings new interest. Also the verges of English lanes are being left untrimmed, to encourage wild life and the emerging wild flowers are an absolute delight, especially the wild parsley and blue bells along wooded banks. It is currently a joy to be alive in the English countryside!

    Reply
  23. During the pandemic, I have been enjoying picnics and have some favorite sites. Top pick is a car park on the Malvern Hills with views to Wales and the Black mountains with the Brecon Beacons just visible on the horizon. Featured against a large sky there are beautiful trees with their fractal patterns of branches incredibly beautiful and to me, better than any man made sculpture. Over winter with the leaves fallen these patterns are greatly enhanced but with the current greening, the shapes are again subtly changing to a different lusher kind of beauty. Every week brings new interest. Also the verges of English lanes are being left untrimmed, to encourage wild life and the emerging wild flowers are an absolute delight, especially the wild parsley and blue bells along wooded banks. It is currently a joy to be alive in the English countryside!

    Reply
  24. During the pandemic, I have been enjoying picnics and have some favorite sites. Top pick is a car park on the Malvern Hills with views to Wales and the Black mountains with the Brecon Beacons just visible on the horizon. Featured against a large sky there are beautiful trees with their fractal patterns of branches incredibly beautiful and to me, better than any man made sculpture. Over winter with the leaves fallen these patterns are greatly enhanced but with the current greening, the shapes are again subtly changing to a different lusher kind of beauty. Every week brings new interest. Also the verges of English lanes are being left untrimmed, to encourage wild life and the emerging wild flowers are an absolute delight, especially the wild parsley and blue bells along wooded banks. It is currently a joy to be alive in the English countryside!

    Reply
  25. During the pandemic, I have been enjoying picnics and have some favorite sites. Top pick is a car park on the Malvern Hills with views to Wales and the Black mountains with the Brecon Beacons just visible on the horizon. Featured against a large sky there are beautiful trees with their fractal patterns of branches incredibly beautiful and to me, better than any man made sculpture. Over winter with the leaves fallen these patterns are greatly enhanced but with the current greening, the shapes are again subtly changing to a different lusher kind of beauty. Every week brings new interest. Also the verges of English lanes are being left untrimmed, to encourage wild life and the emerging wild flowers are an absolute delight, especially the wild parsley and blue bells along wooded banks. It is currently a joy to be alive in the English countryside!

    Reply
  26. in Australia gums and eucalypts are the national trees. But when I was a child, we planted some acorns withe the girl next door. jOne grew well and soon we had an enormous tree hanging over the fence. Once my middle sister threatened to run away and while police and neighbours were searching for her, she was up the oak with her suitcase. The search was called off when she got hungry and climbed down. It was a gorgeous tree but we had no idea that it contributed to the loss of native species in our area. 🙁

    Reply
  27. in Australia gums and eucalypts are the national trees. But when I was a child, we planted some acorns withe the girl next door. jOne grew well and soon we had an enormous tree hanging over the fence. Once my middle sister threatened to run away and while police and neighbours were searching for her, she was up the oak with her suitcase. The search was called off when she got hungry and climbed down. It was a gorgeous tree but we had no idea that it contributed to the loss of native species in our area. 🙁

    Reply
  28. in Australia gums and eucalypts are the national trees. But when I was a child, we planted some acorns withe the girl next door. jOne grew well and soon we had an enormous tree hanging over the fence. Once my middle sister threatened to run away and while police and neighbours were searching for her, she was up the oak with her suitcase. The search was called off when she got hungry and climbed down. It was a gorgeous tree but we had no idea that it contributed to the loss of native species in our area. 🙁

    Reply
  29. in Australia gums and eucalypts are the national trees. But when I was a child, we planted some acorns withe the girl next door. jOne grew well and soon we had an enormous tree hanging over the fence. Once my middle sister threatened to run away and while police and neighbours were searching for her, she was up the oak with her suitcase. The search was called off when she got hungry and climbed down. It was a gorgeous tree but we had no idea that it contributed to the loss of native species in our area. 🙁

    Reply
  30. in Australia gums and eucalypts are the national trees. But when I was a child, we planted some acorns withe the girl next door. jOne grew well and soon we had an enormous tree hanging over the fence. Once my middle sister threatened to run away and while police and neighbours were searching for her, she was up the oak with her suitcase. The search was called off when she got hungry and climbed down. It was a gorgeous tree but we had no idea that it contributed to the loss of native species in our area. 🙁

    Reply
  31. I love oak trees and was really sad when one of our oldest ones fell down two years ago – it just toppled over with a loud groan! (I think the roots were rotten, but still …) It’s so big even the tree cutter has had trouble chopping it up. But we do have others so there are plenty of acorns around. So wish I could keep bonsai trees but I’m useless with plants and would probably just kill them within weeks! I saw some truly beautiful ones in Japan – I think there is one in a palace in Kyoto which is over 100 years old!

    Reply
  32. I love oak trees and was really sad when one of our oldest ones fell down two years ago – it just toppled over with a loud groan! (I think the roots were rotten, but still …) It’s so big even the tree cutter has had trouble chopping it up. But we do have others so there are plenty of acorns around. So wish I could keep bonsai trees but I’m useless with plants and would probably just kill them within weeks! I saw some truly beautiful ones in Japan – I think there is one in a palace in Kyoto which is over 100 years old!

    Reply
  33. I love oak trees and was really sad when one of our oldest ones fell down two years ago – it just toppled over with a loud groan! (I think the roots were rotten, but still …) It’s so big even the tree cutter has had trouble chopping it up. But we do have others so there are plenty of acorns around. So wish I could keep bonsai trees but I’m useless with plants and would probably just kill them within weeks! I saw some truly beautiful ones in Japan – I think there is one in a palace in Kyoto which is over 100 years old!

    Reply
  34. I love oak trees and was really sad when one of our oldest ones fell down two years ago – it just toppled over with a loud groan! (I think the roots were rotten, but still …) It’s so big even the tree cutter has had trouble chopping it up. But we do have others so there are plenty of acorns around. So wish I could keep bonsai trees but I’m useless with plants and would probably just kill them within weeks! I saw some truly beautiful ones in Japan – I think there is one in a palace in Kyoto which is over 100 years old!

    Reply
  35. I love oak trees and was really sad when one of our oldest ones fell down two years ago – it just toppled over with a loud groan! (I think the roots were rotten, but still …) It’s so big even the tree cutter has had trouble chopping it up. But we do have others so there are plenty of acorns around. So wish I could keep bonsai trees but I’m useless with plants and would probably just kill them within weeks! I saw some truly beautiful ones in Japan – I think there is one in a palace in Kyoto which is over 100 years old!

    Reply
  36. I am a tree fan. They can save the planet from climate change if enough of them are planted.
    Here in Austin, we have a great number of live oak trees. They are beautiful and one of them, the Treaty Oak was an historical treasure in Texas. Some “wonderful” person, poisoned the tree. Now there are children of the Treaty Oak around, but of course they are not a couple of hundred years old yet.
    I have planted trees in pots and then given them away….I am trying to be in the Arbor Day hall of fame (that is a joke). I believe that if people love trees, they can’t be all bad.
    There is a plantation outside New Orleans. Oak Alley is a lovely building, but the oak trees along the approach to the house are absolutely beautiful. It has been pictured quite a few times.
    And a silver birch tree is a thing of beauty. I had never seen one until a few years ago, and they are lovely.
    I thank you so much for this post. You have brightened my day even more than y’all normally do.
    I am a fan of almost all trees. God does good work.
    I hope that everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  37. I am a tree fan. They can save the planet from climate change if enough of them are planted.
    Here in Austin, we have a great number of live oak trees. They are beautiful and one of them, the Treaty Oak was an historical treasure in Texas. Some “wonderful” person, poisoned the tree. Now there are children of the Treaty Oak around, but of course they are not a couple of hundred years old yet.
    I have planted trees in pots and then given them away….I am trying to be in the Arbor Day hall of fame (that is a joke). I believe that if people love trees, they can’t be all bad.
    There is a plantation outside New Orleans. Oak Alley is a lovely building, but the oak trees along the approach to the house are absolutely beautiful. It has been pictured quite a few times.
    And a silver birch tree is a thing of beauty. I had never seen one until a few years ago, and they are lovely.
    I thank you so much for this post. You have brightened my day even more than y’all normally do.
    I am a fan of almost all trees. God does good work.
    I hope that everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  38. I am a tree fan. They can save the planet from climate change if enough of them are planted.
    Here in Austin, we have a great number of live oak trees. They are beautiful and one of them, the Treaty Oak was an historical treasure in Texas. Some “wonderful” person, poisoned the tree. Now there are children of the Treaty Oak around, but of course they are not a couple of hundred years old yet.
    I have planted trees in pots and then given them away….I am trying to be in the Arbor Day hall of fame (that is a joke). I believe that if people love trees, they can’t be all bad.
    There is a plantation outside New Orleans. Oak Alley is a lovely building, but the oak trees along the approach to the house are absolutely beautiful. It has been pictured quite a few times.
    And a silver birch tree is a thing of beauty. I had never seen one until a few years ago, and they are lovely.
    I thank you so much for this post. You have brightened my day even more than y’all normally do.
    I am a fan of almost all trees. God does good work.
    I hope that everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  39. I am a tree fan. They can save the planet from climate change if enough of them are planted.
    Here in Austin, we have a great number of live oak trees. They are beautiful and one of them, the Treaty Oak was an historical treasure in Texas. Some “wonderful” person, poisoned the tree. Now there are children of the Treaty Oak around, but of course they are not a couple of hundred years old yet.
    I have planted trees in pots and then given them away….I am trying to be in the Arbor Day hall of fame (that is a joke). I believe that if people love trees, they can’t be all bad.
    There is a plantation outside New Orleans. Oak Alley is a lovely building, but the oak trees along the approach to the house are absolutely beautiful. It has been pictured quite a few times.
    And a silver birch tree is a thing of beauty. I had never seen one until a few years ago, and they are lovely.
    I thank you so much for this post. You have brightened my day even more than y’all normally do.
    I am a fan of almost all trees. God does good work.
    I hope that everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  40. I am a tree fan. They can save the planet from climate change if enough of them are planted.
    Here in Austin, we have a great number of live oak trees. They are beautiful and one of them, the Treaty Oak was an historical treasure in Texas. Some “wonderful” person, poisoned the tree. Now there are children of the Treaty Oak around, but of course they are not a couple of hundred years old yet.
    I have planted trees in pots and then given them away….I am trying to be in the Arbor Day hall of fame (that is a joke). I believe that if people love trees, they can’t be all bad.
    There is a plantation outside New Orleans. Oak Alley is a lovely building, but the oak trees along the approach to the house are absolutely beautiful. It has been pictured quite a few times.
    And a silver birch tree is a thing of beauty. I had never seen one until a few years ago, and they are lovely.
    I thank you so much for this post. You have brightened my day even more than y’all normally do.
    I am a fan of almost all trees. God does good work.
    I hope that everyone is well and safe and happy.

    Reply
  41. I’ve always loved the story of Prince Charles hiding in the oak tree—it sounds positively like a fairy tale with the clever boy hiding from the ogre.
    There aren’t many trees I dislike, although Ailanthus is definitely irritating me as it insists on cropping up all over the place. I have a special fondness for weeping willows, though. When I was a child, one of my aunts had one growing in her yard, and with the branches dipping down to touch the ground it made a magical playhouse.

    Reply
  42. I’ve always loved the story of Prince Charles hiding in the oak tree—it sounds positively like a fairy tale with the clever boy hiding from the ogre.
    There aren’t many trees I dislike, although Ailanthus is definitely irritating me as it insists on cropping up all over the place. I have a special fondness for weeping willows, though. When I was a child, one of my aunts had one growing in her yard, and with the branches dipping down to touch the ground it made a magical playhouse.

    Reply
  43. I’ve always loved the story of Prince Charles hiding in the oak tree—it sounds positively like a fairy tale with the clever boy hiding from the ogre.
    There aren’t many trees I dislike, although Ailanthus is definitely irritating me as it insists on cropping up all over the place. I have a special fondness for weeping willows, though. When I was a child, one of my aunts had one growing in her yard, and with the branches dipping down to touch the ground it made a magical playhouse.

    Reply
  44. I’ve always loved the story of Prince Charles hiding in the oak tree—it sounds positively like a fairy tale with the clever boy hiding from the ogre.
    There aren’t many trees I dislike, although Ailanthus is definitely irritating me as it insists on cropping up all over the place. I have a special fondness for weeping willows, though. When I was a child, one of my aunts had one growing in her yard, and with the branches dipping down to touch the ground it made a magical playhouse.

    Reply
  45. I’ve always loved the story of Prince Charles hiding in the oak tree—it sounds positively like a fairy tale with the clever boy hiding from the ogre.
    There aren’t many trees I dislike, although Ailanthus is definitely irritating me as it insists on cropping up all over the place. I have a special fondness for weeping willows, though. When I was a child, one of my aunts had one growing in her yard, and with the branches dipping down to touch the ground it made a magical playhouse.

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  46. I love oaks and maples, but the two North American trees that interest me the most are American elm and American chestnut. Both have been mostly wiped out by disease(Dutch Elm disease and chestnut blight) in the early 20th century. It’s always a thrill to see an elm that somehow survived. They are immediately recognizable because they have a beautiful vase-shaped canopy. Efforts are also being made to breed a blight-resistant chestnut. Chestnut trees once grew to an immense size in North America, and were valuable for their wood and nuts. You sometimes see old homes and log cabins that were made out of chestnut, it’s very rot-resistant.

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  47. I love oaks and maples, but the two North American trees that interest me the most are American elm and American chestnut. Both have been mostly wiped out by disease(Dutch Elm disease and chestnut blight) in the early 20th century. It’s always a thrill to see an elm that somehow survived. They are immediately recognizable because they have a beautiful vase-shaped canopy. Efforts are also being made to breed a blight-resistant chestnut. Chestnut trees once grew to an immense size in North America, and were valuable for their wood and nuts. You sometimes see old homes and log cabins that were made out of chestnut, it’s very rot-resistant.

    Reply
  48. I love oaks and maples, but the two North American trees that interest me the most are American elm and American chestnut. Both have been mostly wiped out by disease(Dutch Elm disease and chestnut blight) in the early 20th century. It’s always a thrill to see an elm that somehow survived. They are immediately recognizable because they have a beautiful vase-shaped canopy. Efforts are also being made to breed a blight-resistant chestnut. Chestnut trees once grew to an immense size in North America, and were valuable for their wood and nuts. You sometimes see old homes and log cabins that were made out of chestnut, it’s very rot-resistant.

    Reply
  49. I love oaks and maples, but the two North American trees that interest me the most are American elm and American chestnut. Both have been mostly wiped out by disease(Dutch Elm disease and chestnut blight) in the early 20th century. It’s always a thrill to see an elm that somehow survived. They are immediately recognizable because they have a beautiful vase-shaped canopy. Efforts are also being made to breed a blight-resistant chestnut. Chestnut trees once grew to an immense size in North America, and were valuable for their wood and nuts. You sometimes see old homes and log cabins that were made out of chestnut, it’s very rot-resistant.

    Reply
  50. I love oaks and maples, but the two North American trees that interest me the most are American elm and American chestnut. Both have been mostly wiped out by disease(Dutch Elm disease and chestnut blight) in the early 20th century. It’s always a thrill to see an elm that somehow survived. They are immediately recognizable because they have a beautiful vase-shaped canopy. Efforts are also being made to breed a blight-resistant chestnut. Chestnut trees once grew to an immense size in North America, and were valuable for their wood and nuts. You sometimes see old homes and log cabins that were made out of chestnut, it’s very rot-resistant.

    Reply
  51. My husband loves trees and we’ve set lots of them in our fields since we moved into this house. We have lots of different types. We even have two monkey puzzle trees that we were told wouldn’t survive. We live very close to the sea and it’s nearly always windy. We had four but the other two succumbed.
    Just lately we set four horse chestnuts. My brother grew them in grow bags from seed. He only has a small garden so donated them to us. I love horse chestnuts and remember collecting conkers with my brothers as children. We used to make animal figures out of them with match sticks. Happy days!

    Reply
  52. My husband loves trees and we’ve set lots of them in our fields since we moved into this house. We have lots of different types. We even have two monkey puzzle trees that we were told wouldn’t survive. We live very close to the sea and it’s nearly always windy. We had four but the other two succumbed.
    Just lately we set four horse chestnuts. My brother grew them in grow bags from seed. He only has a small garden so donated them to us. I love horse chestnuts and remember collecting conkers with my brothers as children. We used to make animal figures out of them with match sticks. Happy days!

    Reply
  53. My husband loves trees and we’ve set lots of them in our fields since we moved into this house. We have lots of different types. We even have two monkey puzzle trees that we were told wouldn’t survive. We live very close to the sea and it’s nearly always windy. We had four but the other two succumbed.
    Just lately we set four horse chestnuts. My brother grew them in grow bags from seed. He only has a small garden so donated them to us. I love horse chestnuts and remember collecting conkers with my brothers as children. We used to make animal figures out of them with match sticks. Happy days!

    Reply
  54. My husband loves trees and we’ve set lots of them in our fields since we moved into this house. We have lots of different types. We even have two monkey puzzle trees that we were told wouldn’t survive. We live very close to the sea and it’s nearly always windy. We had four but the other two succumbed.
    Just lately we set four horse chestnuts. My brother grew them in grow bags from seed. He only has a small garden so donated them to us. I love horse chestnuts and remember collecting conkers with my brothers as children. We used to make animal figures out of them with match sticks. Happy days!

    Reply
  55. My husband loves trees and we’ve set lots of them in our fields since we moved into this house. We have lots of different types. We even have two monkey puzzle trees that we were told wouldn’t survive. We live very close to the sea and it’s nearly always windy. We had four but the other two succumbed.
    Just lately we set four horse chestnuts. My brother grew them in grow bags from seed. He only has a small garden so donated them to us. I love horse chestnuts and remember collecting conkers with my brothers as children. We used to make animal figures out of them with match sticks. Happy days!

    Reply
  56. Maples are so beautiful aren’t they, Mary Jo. I’d love to see the ones in your part of the world. And I’ve just had a “doh” moment as I realised the connection with maple syrup!

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  57. Maples are so beautiful aren’t they, Mary Jo. I’d love to see the ones in your part of the world. And I’ve just had a “doh” moment as I realised the connection with maple syrup!

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  58. Maples are so beautiful aren’t they, Mary Jo. I’d love to see the ones in your part of the world. And I’ve just had a “doh” moment as I realised the connection with maple syrup!

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  59. Maples are so beautiful aren’t they, Mary Jo. I’d love to see the ones in your part of the world. And I’ve just had a “doh” moment as I realised the connection with maple syrup!

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  60. Maples are so beautiful aren’t they, Mary Jo. I’d love to see the ones in your part of the world. And I’ve just had a “doh” moment as I realised the connection with maple syrup!

    Reply
  61. Kareni the kitchen tree sounds wonderful. What great memories! And how lovely to be able to revisit as an adult and see it was even more special!

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  62. Kareni the kitchen tree sounds wonderful. What great memories! And how lovely to be able to revisit as an adult and see it was even more special!

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  63. Kareni the kitchen tree sounds wonderful. What great memories! And how lovely to be able to revisit as an adult and see it was even more special!

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  64. Kareni the kitchen tree sounds wonderful. What great memories! And how lovely to be able to revisit as an adult and see it was even more special!

    Reply
  65. Kareni the kitchen tree sounds wonderful. What great memories! And how lovely to be able to revisit as an adult and see it was even more special!

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  66. What a lovely story, Sue. I love the thought of you using the roots as steps and the way the tree fired your imagination.

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  67. What a lovely story, Sue. I love the thought of you using the roots as steps and the way the tree fired your imagination.

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  68. What a lovely story, Sue. I love the thought of you using the roots as steps and the way the tree fired your imagination.

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  69. What a lovely story, Sue. I love the thought of you using the roots as steps and the way the tree fired your imagination.

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  70. What a lovely story, Sue. I love the thought of you using the roots as steps and the way the tree fired your imagination.

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  71. Thank you for that historical insight, Minna. It was fascinating to hear about the Kings trees. Best of luck growing your hazel and oaks!

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  72. Thank you for that historical insight, Minna. It was fascinating to hear about the Kings trees. Best of luck growing your hazel and oaks!

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  73. Thank you for that historical insight, Minna. It was fascinating to hear about the Kings trees. Best of luck growing your hazel and oaks!

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  74. Thank you for that historical insight, Minna. It was fascinating to hear about the Kings trees. Best of luck growing your hazel and oaks!

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  75. Thank you for that historical insight, Minna. It was fascinating to hear about the Kings trees. Best of luck growing your hazel and oaks!

    Reply
  76. Quantum, thank you for the glorious descriptions! Nature views have been a great solace this past year or more and you capture them beautifully here.

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  77. Quantum, thank you for the glorious descriptions! Nature views have been a great solace this past year or more and you capture them beautifully here.

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  78. Quantum, thank you for the glorious descriptions! Nature views have been a great solace this past year or more and you capture them beautifully here.

    Reply
  79. Quantum, thank you for the glorious descriptions! Nature views have been a great solace this past year or more and you capture them beautifully here.

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  80. Quantum, thank you for the glorious descriptions! Nature views have been a great solace this past year or more and you capture them beautifully here.

    Reply
  81. Oh Mary what an adventure for your sister hiding in the tree! I imagine the native trees in Australia are so very different. I’d love to see them one day.

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  82. Oh Mary what an adventure for your sister hiding in the tree! I imagine the native trees in Australia are so very different. I’d love to see them one day.

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  83. Oh Mary what an adventure for your sister hiding in the tree! I imagine the native trees in Australia are so very different. I’d love to see them one day.

    Reply
  84. Oh Mary what an adventure for your sister hiding in the tree! I imagine the native trees in Australia are so very different. I’d love to see them one day.

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  85. Oh Mary what an adventure for your sister hiding in the tree! I imagine the native trees in Australia are so very different. I’d love to see them one day.

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  86. You oak must have been very old to be so big Christina! What a pity it fell. It’s amazing to think of such old bonsai trees too. I would love to see those. I think they are extraordinary and would love to be able to grow one.

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  87. You oak must have been very old to be so big Christina! What a pity it fell. It’s amazing to think of such old bonsai trees too. I would love to see those. I think they are extraordinary and would love to be able to grow one.

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  88. You oak must have been very old to be so big Christina! What a pity it fell. It’s amazing to think of such old bonsai trees too. I would love to see those. I think they are extraordinary and would love to be able to grow one.

    Reply
  89. You oak must have been very old to be so big Christina! What a pity it fell. It’s amazing to think of such old bonsai trees too. I would love to see those. I think they are extraordinary and would love to be able to grow one.

    Reply
  90. You oak must have been very old to be so big Christina! What a pity it fell. It’s amazing to think of such old bonsai trees too. I would love to see those. I think they are extraordinary and would love to be able to grow one.

    Reply
  91. I love to hear about named oaks, Annette, and the role they play in history. I will look up the Treaty oak. Silver birches are glorious, I think, and fir, and so many other trees.

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  92. I love to hear about named oaks, Annette, and the role they play in history. I will look up the Treaty oak. Silver birches are glorious, I think, and fir, and so many other trees.

    Reply
  93. I love to hear about named oaks, Annette, and the role they play in history. I will look up the Treaty oak. Silver birches are glorious, I think, and fir, and so many other trees.

    Reply
  94. I love to hear about named oaks, Annette, and the role they play in history. I will look up the Treaty oak. Silver birches are glorious, I think, and fir, and so many other trees.

    Reply
  95. I love to hear about named oaks, Annette, and the role they play in history. I will look up the Treaty oak. Silver birches are glorious, I think, and fir, and so many other trees.

    Reply
  96. I love the idea of the weeping willow as a hide, Lil! You reminded me of the one in my grandfather’s garden beside the pond. I haven’t thought about that for years. I loved it there. Thank you so the memory.

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  97. I love the idea of the weeping willow as a hide, Lil! You reminded me of the one in my grandfather’s garden beside the pond. I haven’t thought about that for years. I loved it there. Thank you so the memory.

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  98. I love the idea of the weeping willow as a hide, Lil! You reminded me of the one in my grandfather’s garden beside the pond. I haven’t thought about that for years. I loved it there. Thank you so the memory.

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  99. I love the idea of the weeping willow as a hide, Lil! You reminded me of the one in my grandfather’s garden beside the pond. I haven’t thought about that for years. I loved it there. Thank you so the memory.

    Reply
  100. I love the idea of the weeping willow as a hide, Lil! You reminded me of the one in my grandfather’s garden beside the pond. I haven’t thought about that for years. I loved it there. Thank you so the memory.

    Reply
  101. How interesting about the American elms and chestnut trees, Karin. I need to check if they look different to the UK ones. We have very few elms left too.

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  102. How interesting about the American elms and chestnut trees, Karin. I need to check if they look different to the UK ones. We have very few elms left too.

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  103. How interesting about the American elms and chestnut trees, Karin. I need to check if they look different to the UK ones. We have very few elms left too.

    Reply
  104. How interesting about the American elms and chestnut trees, Karin. I need to check if they look different to the UK ones. We have very few elms left too.

    Reply
  105. How interesting about the American elms and chestnut trees, Karin. I need to check if they look different to the UK ones. We have very few elms left too.

    Reply
  106. What a wonderful thing to do, Teresa. I absolutely love a monkey puzzle tree! So glad some of yours have survived.

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  107. What a wonderful thing to do, Teresa. I absolutely love a monkey puzzle tree! So glad some of yours have survived.

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  108. What a wonderful thing to do, Teresa. I absolutely love a monkey puzzle tree! So glad some of yours have survived.

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  109. What a wonderful thing to do, Teresa. I absolutely love a monkey puzzle tree! So glad some of yours have survived.

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  110. What a wonderful thing to do, Teresa. I absolutely love a monkey puzzle tree! So glad some of yours have survived.

    Reply

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