Life or death operation to save this green giant in Aliste

Life or death operation to save this green giant in Aliste
Life or death operation to save this green giant in Aliste

A complex and laborious life or death operationAccording to the neighbors themselves, “has saved from certain death” the one known at a popular level as the “oak of the Cabañicas” (Quercus pyrenaica), one of the oldest trees in the Alistana region, hundreds of years old, located in Ribas de Readya town belonging to the municipality of Viñas.

The old oak was born and grew up in the area of ​​”Llanura de Lentiares”, where it lived without problems. “A huge treetheir neighbors say that, according to experts from the Ministry of Development and the Environment of the Junta de Castilla y León, “It far exceeds three centuries of life”.

Neighbors of Ribas next to the centenary oak. | Ch. Sebastian Chany Sebastian

The “roble de las Cabañicas” has unusual dimensions: to encompass its trunk of 4 meters and 42 centimeters in circumference several people with outstretched arms are needed. Another of its peculiarities has been for centuries its extensive cup with a total of 62 meters in circumference.

oversized dimensions

I had two huge Y-shaped branches, and in one of them, in a huge hole, lived a swarm of bees. Given its greatness, it served for years as a refuge for sheep in summer to protect themselves from the sun and the heat of June, July, August and September, since the place where it is located is cool and humid, so the cattle took the opportunity to “rest ” under the.

perfect symbiosis: the oak gave them shade and the sheep gave him manure to feed on, hence it was a specimen that stood out in the entire sheepfold, because although there are more centenary oaks in the Ribas area, none as large as it. “The goats used it to play, as they climbed on it easily and stole some fresh leaves along the way,” assert the former goatherds.

It was 13 months ago, back in July 2021, when uA strong gust of wind broke one of the huge branches, specifically the one that housed the hive. That meant a loss and enormous sadness for the residents of the town, and although it no longer sheltered the cattle – the few that remain are now kept in modern warehouses – that oak was an emblem for its inhabitants. Last winter firewood from the sheepfold was distributed among its neighbors and the branch was distributed among three families, which gives us an idea of ​​its size.

A life or death operation Chany Sebastian

Knowing the importance of the centenary oak for Ribas and his families, and what it meant for the whole town, it is when contacted the environmental agents of the Forest Region of Alcañices looking for solution and asking for urgent action to prevent the death and disappearance of their most precious tree.

In the spring of 2022, specifically on April 18 and 19, a gang of specialized laborers from the Ministry of the Environment of the Junta de Castilla y León began the wound healing works. as if of true surgeons of nature concerned, with their sharp axes and mountain knives as scalpels, they conscientiously cleaned the edges of the wound, leaving the healing lip completely clean so that little by little, and over the years, the enormous wound.

To prevent water from entering and rotting, they made a palisade, placed two square meters of mesh and covered it with healing paste, using a total of 12 one-kilo cans, since the wound had dimensions of 1.50 by 1.20 meters. Months later, specifically on June 5, and once the healing paste was dry, it was waterproofed again with special paint, which prevents leaks and at the same time allows it to breathefor which another four boats of one kilo each were used.

The residents of Ribas de Aliste are grateful for the operation carried out by the Environment workers and hopeful of being able to save “an authentic jewel with which nature has gratified Ribas and all of us who have been born and lived here. At the moment the oak has sprouted strongly and looks very vigorous. The will to live does not seem to be lacking”.

A life or death operation Chany Sebastian

The alistano oak (Quercus pyrenaica) is one of the most abundant native trees in Aliste after the disappearance of the negrillos. Its tawny brown wood is very hard, fine-grained, with well-marked rings, quite heavy and very resistant to rotting even in water.. For this reason, it was formerly used to make vats for wine and as beams for the construction of stone bridges.

The oak is a long-lived tree that can exceed a thousand years and take up to 40 years to flower for the first time.

The article is in Spanish

Tags: Life death operation save green giant Aliste

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