This is another post about the time I spent in Portugal earlier this year. To read the first post in this series please click here.
300 year old carob. . . and me!
Throughout our week in the Algarve Rosie took us to see some absolutely breathtaking ancient trees. The first two were a 300 year old Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) and a 1,000 year old olive (Olea europaea), both in the same place near São Brás. The carob was pretty special, I couldn’t get over the width of the trunk!
1,000 year old olive
But the very old olive really blew me away. The trunk was gnarled and so thick, olives are extremely slow growers so to see one at that size was magnificent.
We then drove into the centre of São Brás and saw a 650 year old Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia, in a patch of ground right in the middle of a housing estate. Rosie told us the planning authorities had been very considerate of the tree and had built all the new flats around it, trees are valued highly in Portugal.
650 year old oak
It was an unbelievable specimen, the structure and shape was amazing. The canopy was so vast, sitting underneath it and feeling the shade it provided was perfect on such a hot day. I’d be pretty happy if I had a tree like that just outside my front door!
The last tree we saw was another phwoaar! sight. We drove to a citrus grove in Moncarapacho and saw a carob tree to end all carob trees. It was between 650 – 1,000 years old, the size of it was sensational. Part of the trunk was hollow, it was so large I could actually fit inside it quite comfortable! The crown was 25 metres across, the scale of it made a really dramatic impact on the landscape.
650 – 1,000 year old carob
All of us PGG trainees were into tree porn, I was amazed at the ancient trees we had seen. It made me realise how young and insignificant we are in the grand scheme of nature, very poignant moments and more special memories were made seeing those ancient trees.