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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Quirky Oak

It’s the tree we most know and often see standing tall above the rest in the landscape. The majestic Oak Quercus sp., is a member of the Beech family (Fagaceae). There are over a hundred species of Oak that grow in North America yet this tree tends to be quirky. The nature of its deep root system makes some Oaks difficult to transplant; hence one is hard-pressed to find many of size for sale in the nurseries. But somehow this quirky species adorns our landscape; even the plant novice knows the mighty Oak tree. The special ones often started as acorns and take generations to turn into a regal specimen.

The massive White Oak in my parents’ backyard was always strong enough to handle the tire swing that ate up a lot of my summer afternoons. It helped to have someone near by to push you off into the yonder but if there was nothing else happening, twisting around and daydreaming on the tire swing was always an option. In Michael Dirr’s ‘Hardy Tress and Shrubs’ he refers to the White Oak in simple terms. “The majesty of a mature Oak warrants pause for reflection.”

To sum up what makes Oaks extraordinary, Napoleon Hill captures it best. “The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” Today’s message: plant an Oak for the next generation.
To my Dad, who I still honor on this Veterans Day for his service to our country. You were the strongest Oak in my life and your little acorn is still a nut!
Images from the Internet

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)