15 responses to “Quercus ilex”

  1. crispie

    Hi Daniel, This is my last BPOTD. I am leaving tomorrow to serve in the Peace Corps and will unsubscribe as I may have little internet access. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every photo and caption and have learned an immense amount about the creativity and beauty of our plants. In my delight over getting the daily BPOTD, I’ve also passed the site along to my former co-workers, roommates, and friends, and just wanted to let you know there are more than a few folks in Athens, Georgia that will continue to receive and learn from you. Thanks for the hard work!

  2. Meghan S.

    This looks so much like California! Does anyone know what the grassland composition is like in Portugal? I suppose it’s all the grasses we see everywhere here, though actually native.

  3. chuck

    Tomorrow I fly to Lisbon to begin walking the Camino Portugues. I shall take this beautiful photo as a good omen. Thank you.

  4. Peggy

    As the picture was loading, before I read the text, I thought this was a California oak. Have seen similar huge oaks on Mount Tamalpais, just north of San Francisco. They are so beautiful when allowed to grow naturally and left untouched by pruners with chain saws.

  5. Alex Jablanczy

    Clearly this is a hideous anomaly, an entirely atypical deciduous tree with the shape of a mushroom cloud rather than a normal globoid crown. There are no neighbours left to give its extreme growth and spread control and limit.
    This gives occasion to meditate and reflect philosophically. If an organism or a state or a person or an empire or a company is permitted to grow unchecked it will absorb or overwhelm and kill the whole world around itself.
    While it is magnificent to marvel at the huge size of this monster tree, is there any biodiversity under it?
    How many plants and animals or microbes does it share the space and air and volume it occupies with?
    None except grass. None for it learned over the centuries how to kill off all competition.
    Another way of putting it might be purely economic ecological. A dozen trees of the same species with the same mass and age and same volume would have probably thrice the wood as this single monolithic monoxylic? monopoly.
    A truly wonderful and educational picture.
    The mother of all trees, the black hole of trees.
    There are of course taller and bigger and more massive trees on this planet, but none which illustrate cancerous exterminative lateral growth so well.
    It steals heat light moisture sunshine water air space soil landmass for itself leaving none for other creatures.

  6. Old Ari

    What do the acorns look like?

  7. Thoe Henrich

    Calm down, Alex. The photo simply shows a large old
    oak in a typical Mediterranean setting, which often
    means well-spaced trees, as seen in the photo. Yes,
    its ecological setting is different from a mixed grove of trees, but no less an example of a dominant tree of the region, and thus not atypical.

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    fine fine lovely tree so proud
    to have survived the years and think
    about all it has seen birds would nest
    perhaps and to with stand the elements
    wonderful stories and folk tales to be
    told and a fine project to haveand share
    thank you all my very first holm oak
    off to visit web sites wish you all the same

  9. Joe

    Actually, when I saw this, the first thing that jumped into my mind was Enterolobium cyclocarpum or the Guanacaste tree. It is the national tree of Costa Rica and is most common in Guanacaste, Costa Rica’s hottest and dryest provence. I couldn’t really find any good pictures, but this one is ok: http://www.guiascostarica.com/cr21.htm . You can see that the growth pattern is rather similar even though the two trees are quite unrelated.

  10. Margaret-Rae Davis

    What an amazing tree. The span of the limbs is so great. I really so enjoy seeing a different kind of oak.
    Thank you,
    Margaret-Rae

  11. mulu uphold

    alex – wonderful points!
    it’s true as can be. an organism left unchecked will kill all the life around it.
    I hope we humans get better at learning self-checking 🙂

  12. Rosa

    Alex,
    There is a lot of life around, under and over this tree. I prefer the image of a nest.

  13. Miguel

    Hi Alex!
    If you visit the original blog, you will find other pictures that show the caracteristic land use of this area. Trees are usually well-spaced due to lack of moister an nutrientes on the soil.
    Also the land management by owners requires, most of the times, the removal of shrubs, leaving only the grass for catle (sheep mostly).
    Never the less, it is known the huge problems that a species can be if out of its natural habitat and withou control or competition. But this is not the case, for this is a endogenous species for most of the mediterranean area.

  14. Anthony F. Willard

    An extraordinarily impressive oak. Oaks foster an enormous amount of life of all sorts in their leaves and branches and in the soil beneath them. An oak is an ecosystem all by itself.

  15. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    What a beautiful example of a gorgeous old tree. A sombra verde, indeed.

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