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Culture, Oak

Remarkable trees in the Bertranges oak forest

2 May 2019

Because of its history and its timber forest logging for more than 300 years, the Bertranges national forest harbours natural treasures that we may discover walking the roads of that 7600 hectares forest.

Because of its history and its timber forest logging for more than 300 years, the Bertranges national forest harbours natural treasures that we may discover walking the roads of that 7600 hectares forest.

Remarkable trees identified by the IGN are mainly located in the north of the forest, in the former Priory of La Charité-sur-Loire woods, between the “Rond de La Réserve” and the “Bois de Montifaut” (this part was forest banking by a judgement of the Council the 9th December 1687). As a matter of fact, “Chêne de Ginardeau”, “Chêne du Garde” (located near the “Rond Lucien Turc“) and the “Chêne de la Vache“ are around 300 years old. Further south of the forest the “Chêne des Rondelles“ on Saint-Aubin-les-Forges municipality is between 200 and 300 years old.

The oldest Bertranges forest oak, the “Chêne Babaud”, was around 500 years old. This oak has been cut in october 1993 by the ONF because it was dead and in danger of falling. Tree stump, now protected and on which is written a timescale, is the last vestige of that oak who saw in particular Jean-Baptiste Colbert during his journeys in the Nivernais in 1659 and 1660.

“Chêne Babaud” was fairly close in age to the “Gros Chêne de Giry”, king of the Garenne forest a few kilometers from the Bertranges forest, who could have been plant during the 14th century. Indeed, the “Gros Chêne de Giry“ measuring around 6 meters circumference could be, according to experts, between 500 and 700 years old and would be the oldest oak in the Nièvre department.

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