The most interesting trees of the Czech Republic have experienced battles and lovers’ encounters

Douglas near Vlastibořa

By 2014, the tallest tree in the Czech Republic had grown to a height of sixty-four meters and five centimeters. This is a Douglas-fir yew tree located in the forests of Železnobrodsk near the village of Vlastiboř. According to experts, the tree would never grow to such a height if it stood alone. Douglaska was “pushed out” so high by her sisters, who do not really care about her height. “There are several 60-meter trees in the place,” Jan Štauber, an expert forest manager of the Návarov forest estate, under which the privately owned forests fall, told Deník some time ago.

As stated on the Kudyznudy.cz server, the mass volume of this respectable tree is more than 27 cubic meters. To give you a closer idea, this amount of wood would be enough to make 700 chairs. If we had two similar logs, it would be enough material for a decent log. Fortunately, the Douglas fir planted in 1879 will not meet such a fate, as it is a protected specimen.

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Well, how does the measurement of such tall trees actually take place? In September 2014, the Douglas-fir was measured twice to be sure. Foresters were on site with altimeters, which are commonly used in the forest, and his height was measured with a laser altimeter. And in order for the number to be truly confirmed, the tree climber Karel Kejkla set out to measure it.

Source: Youtube

Equipped with climbing equipment, he pulled up the rope, which his assistant Richard Slabý unwound below. Understandably, he could not get the strip to the very top, where the width of the trunk is already in the order of several units of centimeters. So he pulled out a telescopic pole above his head. Another forester checked this from the side so that it was placed exactly at the top.

Vilémovický tis

The oldest tree in the Czech Republic is the Vilémovický yew, growing in the castle park in Vilémovice near Ledče nad Sázavou. Some sources state that it is 1800 to 2000 years old, but it is not entirely certain whether this is a real figure or rather a rumor.

Legend has it that around 1210 the Benedictines came to Vysočina and cut down several trees in the area. They were the only ones who left a yew tree growing by the cemetery wall. They did so out of superstition, because our ancestors considered the poison yew a symbol of death and sorrow.

However, according to a more recent study carried out a few years ago, the tree is much younger. “Calculations based on the tree’s crown and trunk show that the yew tree is 850 years old. But even this age ranks it among the oldest trees both in Bohemia and Central Europe,” said the mayor of the village, Václav Vacek.

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A massive tree with a trunk circumference of approximately 360 centimeters and a height of around ten meters grows near the northern wall of the castle park. Although it is a beautiful specimen, at first glance, few would guess that it is one of the oldest trees in the country.

Žižka’s Oak

Another one of the oldest trees in the Czech Republic has been growing for roughly eight centuries, but perhaps even a whole millennium. We are talking about one of our most important memorial trees, which guards the road leading to the castle in Náměšt nad Oslavou in Vysočín. Žižk’s Oak was named in honor of two Hussite expeditions that attempted to conquer the nearby Lichnice Castle.

Some sources state that the famous Czech warlord allegedly slept under an oak tree, others that he tied his horse to it. Other sources claim that Žižek did not personally participate in either of the two expeditions. Only Žižk’s Oak, who experienced the construction of the early Gothic castle, its glory, siege and demise, knows how it really was. While only a ruin remains from Lichnice, the massive oak continues to grow. And this even despite the fact that the tree is hollow.

A tree more than twenty meters high with a crown span of fourteen meters and a trunk with a circumference of ten meters can be easily reached by car or by walking along the red tourist sign on Třemošnica. If you decide to go to Třemošnice by train, you will have less than two kilometers to walk to the oak tree. During the walk, you might wonder if the rumor about the knight Vilém and Mrs. Kateřina, the wife of Mikuláš Trčka from Lípa, is true. They are said to have fallen in love, met at the oak tree, but were discovered. Vilém was executed, and the unfortunate Kateřina ended up walled up in Lichnice Castle, whose ruins are definitely worth a visit.

Dubisko Wallachia hard

“It’s a tough Wallachian oak tree,” said Marie Prudká, the now-deceased Kozlovice witness, chronicler and guide of the Kozlovice district, about the majestic oak tree, which has been looking down on the village of Kozlovice from Strážnice hill for half a millennium. And it was with this sentence that she gave the beautiful tree its name.

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Marie Prudká was not the only one who wondered how it was possible that the tough Dubisko of Wallachia was still alive after the many traumas that befell him. The first big blow came in 1957, when a devastating windstorm broke off part of the crown. In the 1980s, an as yet unknown perpetrator burned the tree from the inside in such a way that four people could fit inside it. However, the tree survived the vagaries of the weather and human ruthlessness and is still the pride of the village today.

The beautiful oak tree attracts many amateur and professional photographers. In recent years, he even had an exhibition of his “likenesses” in a bookstore in Frýdek-Místek. The tree with a trunk circumference of around 400 centimeters even caught the attention of filmmakers. In 2019, it became the main location of the fairy tale The Greatest Gift. Dubisko Valašisko hard won the favor of voters in the Tree of the Year poll last year, when it took the silver rank with a total of 1,783 votes.

Hugo from Lednice

For two hundred years, the beautiful summer oak Hugo has been guarding the forgotten entrance to the park in Lednice. It only got its name in 2020, when the local Okrašlovací spolek entered it in the Tree of the Year competition. At the time, Lednički considered that he would be called Strážce, but because they thought it was too boring, the boyish name Hugo won in the end.

Although Hugo did not achieve victory then, he placed in a beautiful third place. However, this certainly does not matter to the tree, which most likely still remembers the local floodplain forests.

Hugo’s majestic bushy crown has no doubt witnessed many, many interesting events over two centuries, but one story has survived to this day. The local native was told by her grandfather. At the end of the 19th century, under the crown of this oak, the patriot and passionate hunter Wenzel Radkowitsch wooed his bride. He apparently charmed his future wife, Maria, because it was in the shade of this beautiful tree that they were to conceive a daughter.

Wenzel was very respected in his time, even Prince Jan II invited him to hunt. from Liechtenstein and received a princely saber for his services. So it is not surprising that the spicy story has not fallen into oblivion.

Mucha’s linden

On one of the canvases of the Slavic epic by the famous painter Alfons Mucha, you can admire a linden tree that is about four centuries old. A beautiful tree grows in the vicinity of Kyšperk near a farm in the nearby village of Lukavice. It is said that the famous painter often went for walks with him, so the locals started calling him Mucha’s linden. Mentions of this name can even be found in the local press of the time.

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The peculiar luxuriant trunk of an old linden tree was used by Mucha as a motif for the painting The Oath of Youth under the Slavic Linden, probably in 1926. Already a hundred years ago, Mucha’s linden was a massive tree, so it served excellently as a model of the linden under which the mother of all Slavs, Slavia, is to be buried.

An interesting fact is that the Oath of the Youth under the Slavic Linden is the only work of the Slavic epic that the author did not finish. The painter also never allowed the painting to be exhibited during his lifetime.

The article is in Czech

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