Village trees

By Dominika Chládeková


Norway spruce (picea abies)

It is the most widespread tree in Slovakia. Spruce has square and pointy needles. They grow on the whole branch. Its needles are 1-1.5 cm long. The peculiarity of young cones is that they grow upwards and are colored either purple-violet or green. They ripen in the first year.

Spruce forests are often affected by various types of insects – especially lycoat-eaters and butterflies. Non-native monocultures planted at lower altitudes are most at risk.

Height 30 to 50 m.

Scots pine (pinus sylvestris)

Pine is our original coniferous tree. It grows mainly on sandy soil, where it forms forests called bors. In the ground, it has a long, round, vertical main root from which long lateral roots grow. The bark is gray-brown at the bottom of the tree. The branches are uneven, crooked. The needles grow in pairs and fall once every 2 to 3 years.

Tea is brewed from young shoots, oil and tar are obtained from wood. The subject of the collection are mainly the ends of the branches – spring shoots. However, their collection from live trees is prohibited in our country. The harvest is basically made only from felled trees.

Height 25 to 45 meters.

Deciduous spruce (larix decidua)

Deciduous spruce is the only coniferous tree whose needles fall every year. It is demanding on the sun, so it is usually grown on the edges of forest roads, in open spaces. It has a reddish-brown rough bark with a slender crown. The needles are light green, soft and grow in bundles on short branches.

Height 30 to 50 meters.

White fir (abies alba)

Coniferous tree with white-gray smooth bark. It has a straight trunk, horizontal branches distributed in steps. Unlike spruce, needles do not prick and grow in two rows. The cones at the end of the twigs grow upwards and do not fall whole, the individual scales fall first.

Height 40 to 60 meters.

European beech (fagus sylvatica)

Beech is a tree with a gray smooth bark and shiny ovoid edges. It is one of our most widespread deciduous trees. It lives up to 250 years. It blooms in April and May. Beech forests are called “bučiny”, they grow mainly in the foothills. Together with oak, it belongs to the group of beech-like plants.

Height 30 to 50 meters.

Winter oak (quercus petraea)

Winter oak is a deciduous tree with a relatively slender trunk. Its leaves fall off in the spring, they have long stems and the blade is wedge-shaped. Acorns almost sit on branches, which is different from summer oak, which acorns grow on long stalks. It is abundant in the hills. Oak lives about 400 to 500 years (unless it is cut down or it is affected by some misfortune). It drops his acorns for the first time at about the age of 60.

Oak has very hard, heavy and durable wood. It is used to make furniture, parquets, beams. Due to its quality, railway sills under the rails were also made of it (and still are made somewhere).

Height 20 to 30 meters.

Common hornbeam (carpinus betulus)

The common hornbeam is a deciduous tree belonging to the group of birch plants. It has a dark gray smooth bark. They are often mistaken for beech. Unlike beech, the hornbeam leaves serrated at the edges. The blade of the young leaves is curly folded according to the lateral veins. After pollination, winged nuts develop from pistil flowers.

Height 20 to 30 meters.

Mountain maple (acer pseudoplatanus)

A maple is a tree with an irregular or ovoid crown and a cracked bark. We can easily recognize it by the shape of its palm-divided leaves. In Slovakia, tall mountain maple and milk maple grow in higher elevations. In lower positions smaller maple and tartar maple.

Maple wood is sought after for the production of musical instruments.

a – tartar maple
b – milk maple
c – mountain maple

Height 35 to 40 meters.

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