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A tree can absorb 27 kg of Carbon Dioxide a year; one large tree can provide a day’s worth of oxygen for four people. [x]

I’ve made a commitment to try and plant around 100 trees a year: If I live to be 85, that will be roughly 6200 trees in my lifetime. I count on planting many, many more.

I collected these young oaks as acorns last year, from various places  around Denmark (it’s as simple as pocketing the occasional acorn when the season is right). The acorns cold-stratified over winter in my potato patch, and subsequently the trees sprung to life this spring. Re-potted now, I plan on babying them until they are mature enough to survive the trampling herbivorous hazards of the wild.

There are 38+ different species of oak that can grow here, and Quercus species hybridise readily: the history of speciation and genetic diversity can definitely be seen in the young foliage: I haven’t yet identified the individual trees, but I know by the variations in leaf size, colour, and serration, that I have an exceptionally diverse little collection of genetics here; especially given the seed was collected in such a small country. Most likely I have some variations of Quercus roburor English Oak—on my hands.

There is a tree in the Jægerspris Nordskov (Jægerspris North Forest)here on the island of Sjælland, that may be the oldest oak tree in Northern Europe: we call it the Kongeegen, or “King Oak.” It is thought to be between 1500-2000 years old. Most oaks can live healthily for around 200 years, but there are numerous specimens that have reached ages of 500 years or more.

Oaks are a keystone species, essential for the life and health of numerous other forest organisms, and they are threatened globally due to the encroachment of farmland and a number of diseases: species diversity is vital in the case of the latter threat. In the forest, oaks have symbiotic relationships with a number of fungi: including truffles like the black Périgord truffle, and the white Piedmont. They are also vital to the survival of birds like the European pied flycatcher.

Planting native species only does good for your biome: so, if you are considering planting a tree this year, why not try an oak?

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