Fossalta di Portogruaro oak

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Quercus robur, English oak, Fagaceae

Nicknamed “La Vecja” (“the old one”), the Oak of Fossalta di Portogruaro in the province of Venice, is a monumental English oak (Quercus robur). Located next to the XVcentury church of S. Antonio in Villanova, it is some 585 years-old, although popular tradition reckons XVIII century origins. This oak is a real icon among the arboreal patriarchs on the eastern Venetian plain, already growing at the time of the Serenissima Republic. It is 52.5 ft high, with a trunk circumference of 28 ft. The trunk is almost entirely empty, due to the cavities dug by the xylophagous beetle (Cerambix cerdo).

In 2018, this majestic tree was struck by lightning and went up in flames, but firefighters managed to save it. Constantly monitored by the Municipality of Fossalta and several experts, this oak is also protected by Mipaaf (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies) and has been included in the list of the Italian monumental trees. In 2019, it took part in the “Tree of the Year competition”, sponsored by the Italian “Giant Trees Foundation”, which is part of the “European Tree of the Year” contest. The other three participants were “Quercia delle Checche” (Quercus pubescens – or downy oak) in the province of Siena, “Leccio dell’Etna” (Quercus ilex), and “Vallonea di Tricase” (Quercus ithaburensis subsp. “macrolepis”), in Puglia.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Chiesa di Sant'Antonio, Villanova - Fossalta di Portogruaro (VE)(VE)

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