Rumskullaeken - the oldest oak around

Sweden's oldest oak. Photo: Richard Holmgren
old oak tree

Summers and winters came and went. The couple that kissed under the oak are since long gone but her earring might still be hidden under a maze of roots. Others carved runes in the smooth surface of the young tree and one man hung up a snare. Eventually people started to dress and talk differently and for reasons unknown some disappeared for a while. Someone needed timber but died before he had time to begin his work and numerous wildfires never reached their way to its trunk. The tree remained.

Chirps turned into distant rumbles. Men with crosses and swords rode east and even farther away the foundation stones were laid for giant temples. When the tree crown could gaze far above the surrounding forests and cultivated landscapes, Genghis Khan conquered the steppes. Soon Marco Polo completed his travels and the Renaissance fashioned Italy. After half its life as a tree, rumors spread about an undiscovered continent in the west. Ships made of oak crossed overseas, whereas such timber was safe inland, so the tree remained. Shakespeare scribbled under a star-sprinkled darkness that never became the same after Copernicus had his say and seven million released acorns were suddenly explained by a newly published work by a certain gentleman named Newton. During meager harvests and poverty the oak saw emigrants leave by horse and cart, but the oak endured against all odds and saw a new world emerge. Soon the dark cloudy nights came to reflect an ever dim light of tungsten.

For over a thousand years the tree looked down on those who passed by. Today man can look down on the tree - sometimes without even being there. The oak in Rumskulla parish is today one of Sweden's oldest trees. Still alive in the summer of 2020, the oak received many visits from people required to stay domestic. Another historical chapter has etched itself in the bark - what else will it see before its leaves cease to sprout?

/Richard, July 2020

Fossil åkermark runt Kvilleeken. Foto Richard Holmgren

If you want to look down on the oak, you will fint it here

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