Inspirational Trees

I greatly enjoyed @BillsBayou 's post November “field” study on the Blind River and thought I’d start a thread where we can share inspiring trees growing in our neighbourhoods.

Please share what inspires you in your area.

Near my home grows the “Gipsy” Oak. It was planted approximately 1360 A.D. and is about 650 years old. It measures over 6 meters in girth at 1 meter above ground.
The tree was a court site in the middle ages and it got its name because it was used as camp site by gipsies. In 1870, a camp fire made too close to the tree burnt a hollow in the trunk. The hollow reportedly was large enough that people could use it as overnight shelter. In 1906, the hollow was bricked shut and in the meantime has nearly completely disappeared. Also in 1870, a Linden tree was planted next to the oak as replacement, in case that the oak would die.
This oak has seen a lot in its life. From oxen carts to Napoleonic troops to the first steam engines, cars and airplanes.

The Linden from 1870 next to the Oak from 1360:


The “Gipsy” Oak around 1911


The most iconic native species in my area has got to be Angel Oak. It’s a stunning tree.


Absolutely stunning tree!

1 Like

It is! I’ve noticed that with southern live oak (quercus virginiana) the mature trees have relatively short trunk and branches that want to trail horizontally forever. The juvenile form is decidedly more horizontal and broom like in shape. It makes me think that a hard trunk chop with a subsequent running/elongation of the branches is the way to go when cultivating one.


Fantastic story. I like how the bricks have almost disappeared. I love how the oldest of the species we study show the most character. Thanks for starting this thread.


400-500 years old! We’re studying the ancients in this thread.

The Angel Oak is a fantastic example of a style that lie outside of the Japanese-defined styles. This is the challenge for bonsai artists around the world. The Japanese have shown us how to take what we see in nature and reflect it in miniature. If we’re challenged by Japanese bonsai purists, we need to stand strong and educate the world on how there is so much more to bonsai than what the Japanese have styled.


Thanks @Christoph
Where is this?

1 Like

This is in Ramsen, a small village near Schaffhausen, Switzerland.


Maybe not that interesting and fascinating tree from me but it is inspirational esp for formal upright style of mountain species. Note these incredibly downwards growing branches too due to heavy snowfall every year. If ever styling this way you can go really crazy with branches bending downwards.
On another ‘tune’ I passed this tree during my yearly hike this summer I believe third time. The tree is completely dead since I spotted it first time (three years ago) in this blueberry heaven for brown bears in cca 1500 masl altitude of central Europe. It had to be killed from outside as it is still perfectly standing however doesn’t have bark anymore. I put this picture as homescreen on my cell and was tempted to remove it after few weeks due to song by Elton John popping up in my mind EVERY TIME I unlocked the phone ‘I’m still standing yeaaaaah yeaaaah yeah!’ which was going on my nerves. Hope you experience the same looking at it on pic below :notes: I don’t mean it getting on your nerves but singing such positive song looking at dead tree :wink:


Loving this rugged looking remainder of what once was @CoffeeCherry.

Here’s a picture of a tree that I saw a couple years ago during a holiday in the area of Fontainebleau, France. The tree is growing right on top of a large rock and has a great gnarly look. This tree had really impressed me, even though I hadn’t been much into bonsai yet at that time.


These trees are not to the ‘ancient’ level yet, but they are my favorite inspirational bald cypress around the area -

Not a tree per se, but used in bonsai cultivation so I’ll include these absolute beasts of Wysteria. :grin:

All three are in the gardens of Hever Castle, Kent, South-east UK. To the best of my knowledge, these were planted in the first decade of the 1900s.


These are some awesome sweet chestnuts I visited last year !planted by the Spanish over 500 years ago on Llanthony, Wales UK. most are decaying deadwood and look like they are getting chopped up for firewood :pensive: truly amazing wandering round these giants.


Airlayer a branch on one or all of them! If anyone complains just say that you’re saving the trees. :rofl:


I found this Yew just outside of Bristol (UK). To me it looks like it was poured onto the rock like molten chocolate.


Cracker! Ashton court in Bristol has a few gems :raised_hands:

1 Like

This tree in the parking lot at Mt. St. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA reminded me of some of the Cedars of Lebanon that were shown on the stream. I think it is a western red cedar, but could be mistaken. The large, powerful branches that start low and arch up are really cool.


Hi @WelshBarry,
Wales is not too shabby for yews either!


Texas has more than a few awe inspiring trees. The treaty oak in Austin., has a rich history even though it is a shell of its former self. My home town of Dallas boasts one of the largest urban forests in the US. There are monsters in Bend Bend State Park and thoughout the state. The big tree is one of most special IMO.


This tree is in a public courtyard in Barcelona. Unsure of species or age. Perhaps not ancient because of the favorable Mediterranean climate makes it relatively fast-growing. This area of the city was constructed in the second half of the 19th century, so perhaps only ~150 years old? There are 3 of them in the courtyard, appearing to be intentionally planted there.