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5 Amazing Facts About Oak

The world of oak isn’t simply all about oak wood doors and coffee tables, in fact Oak is one of the most beautiful and natural sought after materials in the world; known for its sturdiness and endurance for thousands of years, the oak tree was one of the first cultural signifiers. So, here are five amazing facts about one pretty amazing species of tree:

Oak Tree

1.         Besides its use amongst military badges, the oak tree has also served its place amongst the symbol of many nations for thousands of years. Not only does England call the tree its national tree, but the tree holds much political significance as Oak is one of the main materials used in the construction of the houses of parliament; hence the term ‘Great oak halls of England’.

Besides this, the oak tree is of course the symbol for the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom.

The oak tree has also been used as a symbol for ancient Germania, modern Germany, the United States, France and Moldova amongst many others.

2.         With its symbolic roots hailing back to ancient Germania, you may also be interest to know that Oak is also a sacred plant the Greek master God, Zeus. In fact, the voice of Zues himself was considered to be heard amongst the rustling of the leaves in an around the sanctuary of Dodona, where lightning storms would occur more than in any other place in Greece.

Interestingly, Italians also associated the tree to their gods. Jupiter himself also found association with the plant.

3.         It is also perhaps a satisfying coincidence that the Jurupa Oak clonal colony found in Riverside County, California is believed to be the world’s oldest living  organism at 13,000 years old.



Surviving by cloning itself, the plant started life during that last Ice Age, the oak bush belongs to the species Quercus paleri (Palmer’s Oak) and consists of a 25-yard long cloning line.

The growing itself occurs after a fire occurs wherein it resprouts from around the base of the burned stems. Over a period of fires, the centre of the wood degrades, leaving space for new life to occur. Andrew Sanders of the University of California said;

‘This literally appears to be a last living remnat of a vanished wood vegetation that occupied the inland valleys at the height of the last Ice Age.’

Oak Barrel to store alcohol

4.         Merrily perhaps, we have found more than one use for oak than furniture as oak is very often used in the storage and distillation of alcohol. As oak is very resistant to fungal attack it is the perfect material for the maturing of alcohol in many wines, brandy and scotch whiskies; both European and American Oak has found its uses for this process.

Interestingly it is also oak which finds itself in the production of wine stoppers. Made from Cork Oak, the plant grows throughout the Mediterranean region of the world with Spain, Alegria and Morroco being the primary produces along with Portugal.

5.         Fascinatingly enough, it can take a period of twenty years for an oak tree to start producing acorns and sometimes, depending on the climate, it can take up to fifty years for the first production of acorns.

If the tree gets to the grand old age of a hundred however, it can then produce up to 2000 acorns per year; often peaking at around 2200 if its lifespan is allowed to continue.

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