THE TREES

OAK

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Shape: Broad spreading

Origin: Europe, from Scandinavia to Southern Italy

Environment: Forests, from sea level to 1,300 m.

Climate: Cool, temperate, mild, warm

 

Also known as Durmast Oak. It is often found in mixed woods with English Oak, Turkey Oak and Hornbeam (at lower altitudes), or with Sweet Chestnut and Beech (on the mountains). It is very tolerant of both cool and warm temperatures. The wood is the most appreciated for furnishing. It has a striped and flamed grain with color variations and amber shades.

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OAK

EUROPEAN WALNUT

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Shape: Broad spreading

Origin: Southeast of Europe, West Asia

Environment: Valleys and river sides, in full sunlight

Climate: Mild

 

Also known as Persian Walnut or English Walnut, this tree grows on fresh fertile soil, and is intolerant of both stagnation and dryness. The walnuts are highly appreciated, and the very strong wood is prized amongst the best for furniture. In the Middle Ages, the similarity of the fruit with the human brain led to the belief that it could cure mental illness. It varies from a light brown to a darker color with orange and honeyed veins.

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EUROPEAN WALNUT

BEECH

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Shape: Broad spreading

Origin: Europe (from Norway to Sicily)

Environment: Mountain forests from 600 to 1.700 m. altitude

Climate: Cool, cold

 

The European Beech is one of Europe’s widest-ranged mountain trees. The slow growth rate, however, is causing it’s progressive replacement with the faster-growing spruce trees. The ground of beech forests is acid because of the very little light passing through. The beech wood can be easily bent, and has balsamic properties.

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BEECH

MAPLE

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Shape: Broad spreading

Origin: Central and Southern Italy, Yugoslavia

Environment: Broadleaf forests, from sea level to 1,300 m.

Climate: Mild, warm

 

In spite of the name, the Italian Maple is not the most diffused native maple tree of Italy. It’s original area is quite narrow and it is not a single species, but a group of at least 3 species with varied characteristics that Botanists still haven’t been able to identify with certainty. It’s popularity as decorative tree is increasing.

 

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ACACIA

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Shape: Width - robust

Origin: Central North America

Environment: Humid and fertile forests

Climate: Medium, warm, cool

 

Acacia with strong thorns, (but the variety Inermis is spineless), this is why it is used for reinforce the enclosure of livestock. Its rapid growth and strong roots make it ideal for areas devastated where the ground is unstable. It is resistant cold but short-lived. Named for the famous German botanist Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch.

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ACACIA

ASH

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Europe

Environment: Moist forests and river banks, on fresh, deep soil

Climate: Mild, temperate, cool

 

Before the Christian age, Scandinavia people considered this tree sacred to god Odin. There was also a belief that burning some Common Ash wood in a room could turn the evil spirits away. Vampires were believed to be killed only with a Common Ash pole in their hearts. Today the tree is cultivated for the highly prized wood.

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ASH

ELM

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Environment: Forests, wild plains, river

Climate: Mild

The Smooth-leaved Elm is a widespread European elm. It is endangered by graphiosis, a disease which will lead all Elm species to a sure extinction. Before the disease spread out, the Smooth-leaved Elm used to grow practically everywhere in Southern Central Europe. Ironically, it is one of the most pollution-resistant species.

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CEDAR

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Lebanon

Environment: Low mountains and hills, on fertile well-drained soil

Climate: Mild, warm, temperate

 

Highly decorative conifer, distinguishable from the other cedars because of big vertical main branches and the almost flat secondary branches. Often used in urban decoration. The Lebanon Cedar does not tolerate prolonged cold and frost, and is also stagnation-intolerant. It has a slower growth compared to the other cedars.

 

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CEDAR

WHITE POPLAR

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Southern Europe, Western Asia, Northern Africa

Environment: River banks, moist forests

Climate: Mild, warm

Often found on river sides, the White Poplar is one of the most beautiful trees of Southern Europe, with the white bark and the spectacular leaves (dark green on the upper side, white on the under side). It grows on sandy or gravely deep calcareous soils, often in mixed woods with Black Poplar, White Willow and Black Alder.

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CHESTNUT

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Environment: Sub-Mediterranean forests, up to 900 m.

Climate: Mild, temperate

 

The Sweet Chestnut has been diffused all over Europe by the Romans. It is found in mixed woods (with English and Turkey Oaks, Sea Pine, European Beech). Because of the fruits, it was cultivated since a very ancient age, even before the cereals were. In the Middle Ages, sweet chestnuts were the main food source for the populations of Southern Europe.

 

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PLANE

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Europe

Environment: humid places and forests, on deep, fertile soil

Climate: Mild, temperate

 

The Plane tree is a spontaneous crossover between the Oriental Plane tree and the American Plane tree, which happened in a London garden (hence the name). It is considered to be more resistant to parasites than it’s parents, so it is often the Plane tree of choice for urban decoration, especially in Europe.

 

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CHERRY

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Europe, West Asia

Environment: Forests, hedge rows, river sides

Climate: Temperate, cool

The Cherry is a tree that adapts well to most soils. It can stand well the cold and frost, and because of this, it can also grow on the mountains. It is a very appreciated tree not only because of the delicious fruits, but also because of the excellent quality of the wood, highly prized for furniture and musical instruments.

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BASSWOOD

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Shape: Broad columnar

Origin: Europe, West Asia

Environment: Hill forests, on dry calcareous soil

Climate: Temperate, cool

The Basswood used to be widespread on the hills of Europe before the expansion of agriculture and cities. The excellent wood is used for guitars and piano keys. The flowers are sedative and diuretic. Ancient Greeks sacred it to Aphrodite, because they associated the intense blooming smell with the feminine ideal.

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SEQUOIA

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Shape: Narrow conical

Origin: California, Europe

Environment: Mountain slopes, on deep and humid soils

Climate: Mild, temperate

 

Also known as Wellingtonia, it is the second tree for longevity, with 4,000-year-old living specimens. The Giant Sequoia, when it is very old, it is undoubtedly the most spectacular tree in existence. These trees can also be found in Europe where there is a mild climate. It is a light, very durable and strong wood. Suitable for outdoor use, for naval uses, windows, garden furniture.

 

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