Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Verie Olde Oake

My new home is in a complex called "Olde Oak Apartments." Initially, I rolled my eyes at this name, thinking the extra "e" rather pretentious. However, then I learned that there is a 900-year-old oak on the apartment campus. This news tempered my judgment: 900 years ago English spelling was far more variable than it is today, so I suppose an oak could be "olde" if the writer wished it.

Really, this place does quite well with trees. The complex is only two years old, so most of the trees are quite new, but I enjoy being able to walk outside and find magnolias, crepe myrtles, palms, willows, and several evergreens I can't yet name. I trust places that value trees.

The myrtles are merry, the magnolias elegant, but the willows are my favorite.
 Yesterday evening I took my first proper ramble over the grounds, and at the back of the property, I found the oak. It stands at the top of a steep hill, and I cannot imagine how extensive its roots must be. I've been re-reading The Lord of the Rings this summer, and this oak made me think of Tolkien's Ents, enormous and ancient "tree-herders" who tend the forests of Middle Earth.

After so many years, I think this "olde oak" has earned its extra "e." The tree is magnificent, and I will imagine that it keeps a watchful eye over high little chapel-room of mine.

What kinds of trees grow near your home?

1 comment:

  1. 900 years old, eh? I wouldn't even venture a guess on the age of that tree, but even an 80-year-old live oak can be enormous. I'll have to come up and take a look at it sometime.

    I have a big post oak in the front yard, a couple live oaks at the corner, and a some cherry laurels in the back yard. I'm hoping to add a couple pecan trees this fall. You're seeing several different evergreens, I expect. You'll see mostly loblolly or slash pines, which are tall trees with long needles in bunches of 2s and 3s, bark in big scales, and branches mainly at the top. You will also see both red and white cedars. White cedar is a coastal species distinguished by branches that grow straight out from the trunk at 90 degrees and a grayish bark on mature trees. You will also see cypresses, which are not actually evergreen, but are obvious by the big, conical trunk at the base of the tree.

    -Steve S.