Key Facts about the Oak Tree

Published: 29th September 2006
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The Oak Tree is Considered to be one of the most significant and magnificent trees in the whole world. In all there are over 300 varieties of these majestic forest giants.

Some species of oaks include the Royal Oak and Quercus Robur (Common Oak), which are very popular in Britain. Another species of oak called the Charter Oak is very prominent in the United States. Among the rarest of oaks is the Cork Oak, and is so called because it is the tree that is used to make a majority of the finest wine bottle corks. The earlier-mentioned British Quercus Robur is one that is most often used in landscape architecture around an estate home.

Most oak trees take hundreds of years to reach maturity. In fact, one tree in Windsor is over 800 years old. This tree was planted during the reign of King John, and has lived through at least 35 monarch reigns. This tree has lived longer than most men, even the men of ancient times.

The oak remains a symbol of spiritual significance and serves as a valuable commodity for the creation of durable tangible goods. For instance, the bible uses the oak tree in reference at least 23 times. In addition, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Slavs, and Teutonic groups put the oak on a pedestal, higher than any other tree.

The oak tree is also referenced in many ballads, such as Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, which was also associated with Robin Hood. This is an actual tree that is still standing after quite a long time, and it measures to be 20 metres (64 feet) wide. The Major Oak is one tree that has reached its maturity.

Oak has also been used on British coins. The sixpence, which is one of Britain's oldest coins, has an oak tree engraved on it, and the shilling does as well.

The reason why the oak is such a well-revered tree is because it is one of the strongest woods in the world. In fact, it has been noted that the oak tree has five times the shearing strength of Scots pine. That is the reason it is used to make burial coffins for important people, such as the one of Edward the Confessor located in a shrine in Westminster Abbey.

Those who love to learn about the history of why certain names came about can read about the history of the Royal Oak. In brief, the Royal Oak was so named because King Charles II hid inside an oak tree after he was defeated by Cromwell during the Battle of Worcester in 1651. He lived in exile for at least ten years before returning to the kingdom. His birthday became a self-proclaimed public holiday, called Royal Oak day, and needless to say the Royal Oak was named after him.

Another brief moment in history pertaining to the oak tree includes the story of the ship the Mary Rose. The story of this oak ship does not have as happy of an ending as the story of the naming of the Royal Oak. However, it is very significant in many ways.

On July 19th, 1545 the Mary Rose sunk in the water as King Henry VIII's army attempted to cross from Spithead fight French invaders. Unfortunately the entire ship sunk, and over time the pieces, including the hull were located. The entire ship is now sits a short ways from Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth's Naval Dockyard.

Again, the problem with the Mary Rose was not the wood that was used to create it, but rather the way it was constructed. Oak has long been a choice for many water vessels made in earlier times, and the Mary Rose just happened to be an unfortunate case in which the ship failed to protect the passengers. Ordinarily people had made it safe across the waters aboard a ship.

Overall the oak tree is a very strong and sturdy wood, and represents many things, including that of the concept of longevity, and of wisdom. This is a tree that stands the test of time.

By visiting the author's website at http://www.oakconservatories.co.uk you will find useful information for about oak hardwood conservatories.

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