Oak tree, oak wood- research

Oak in polish Dąb (Quercus L.)

I’ve choose oak wood for building my furniture as one of the important source of furniture making in counrty from ages. Oak had been used to cure and made people beliefe actually ensure in long life. Oak tree was treated as a one of the symbol . Untill today many names of places town and villages , comes from oak name.

Longevity and stately appearance of oak for centuries caused a great impression on people. Old specimens were worshiped as Shinto deities by most of the original peoples of Europe. The ancient Romans and Greeks believed that Oak is the seat of the highest deities – Jupiter and Zeus. Therefore, Rome crowned its prominent citizens merit a wreath of oak leaves ‘corona civica’. Also in Old testament is mention about these trees, where we read about Abraham sitting down under the oaks of Mamre.

Some peoples regarded oaks trees as – oracles, based on their status they could predict weather and a good harvest. In Greek ‘Dodona’ was the oracle taht could predict from the noise oak leaves.

Among the Germanic tribes, oak was devoted to the god of storms (Thor). It was apparent from the observation that thunder struck those trees mostly , without making serious damage in the landsurrounded by those trees.

Celtic and Slavic peoples also had to be impressed by the splendor of oak trees, because their places of worship localized mostly in old oak woods (see. Perun, Taranis).

The Celts also believed that the power of oak is helpful in the afterlife, and therefore to the tombs of the dead they were putting branches of that tree . In Żmudź today Lithuania  in the sacred groves, oak was the main tree dedicated to Perkun , equivalent god to Perun.

Oak wood relatively heavy and hard is widely used in the construction of internal joinery, furniture. Due to its resistance to abrasion is ideal for making staves floor. Production of oak darken over time in a natural way from the water, and because of tannin content easily react with chemicals in particular paints (salts, acids, bases). Oak wood tends to crack at high frost due to high internal stresses, it is excellent for wood joinery internal but very risky for topical application particularly windows and doors.

Oak bark contains a large amount of tannins and for centuries is successfully used in tanning for leather tanning.
Plant Magic: In one of the regions in Poland – Zagórzyce patients were suffering from throat or toothache walked before sunrise, without turning back at the forest, they were attending the place where grew old oak tree called “Doctor”. On arrival the patient had to pray 3 times, followed by three walks around the tree by saying following words: Say that to me, tell me, my beloved oak, which way to treat teeth in my mouth. Children, frailed,  that suffers from any kind illness were transferred by the forked branches of oak (sometimes deliberately for this purpose people were spliting young oal trees) . These practices were used in Poland in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Oak as a medical plant

The bark of some species is a component of many herbal mixtures, a decoction of the bark was used internally in diarrhea, and externally with frostbite and burns.
Some species of oaks may have  importance as melliferous plants. They produce honeydew (called. Dew honey) Specimens of mistletoe growing on oak trees were regarded as a special talisman, probably due to the rare occurrence.

With oak staves were produced  staves for barrels and then they were exported from Poland to the countries that produce wine. Oak acorns were used to feed pigs and today we can find caffein free ‘ coffe’ maid from oak acrons.
Oak acorns were once feeds for pigs
With oak staves for barrels were made that were subject to the export of Polish wine producing countries.

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