Monumental trees

Monumental trees: a protected heritage

In Italy, monumental trees are protected by Law n.10 / 2013 which establishes the obligation for each municipality to register and collect in updated regional lists the plants that correspond to the required requirements. The regional lists converge in the list of monumental trees in Italy managed by the State Forestry Corps. The characteristics that a plant must have, all or in part, to be classified as monumental are: large size, longevity, historical and landscape requirements, rarity. The size refers to the species or to the very large dimensions compared to other individuals present in the same area, on the other hand very long-lived plants such as centenary trees are considered monumental even if they do not reach large dimensions.

Monumental trees: an important resource

Monumental trees are important not only for the historical and cultural aspect that attracts thousands of tourists to our country but also for the environment: they are real databases that store chronological data essential for scientists who study the climate of the past. also useful for determining current climate change. Very long-lived plants or plants that have reached large dimensions are well adapted to the environment and have a great resistance to adversity, for these characteristics their genetic material, or germplasm, is useful for vegetative reproduction and the conservation of botanical species at risk. In addition to the scenic beauty that they confer with their presence, these trees are precious for the protection of the environment,

Monumental trees in Italy

Among the best known green patriarchs of Italy we have the cypress of San Francesco (Cupressus sempervirens) at Villa Verrucchio, in Romagna; the olive tree of San Baltolu di Luras in Sardinia (Olea europaea oleaster) and the Chestnut of the Hundred Horses (Castanea sativa), a millenary chestnut tree located in Sant’Alfio in Sicily, inside the Etna Park. The dimensions of this tree are considerable, the trunk divided into three suckers has a circumference of 22 meters by 22 meters in height, while the circumference of the crown measures about 58 meters. The first documented historical sources date back to the sixteenth century but its age, estimated by various botanists, ranges from 2000 to 4000 years and could be considered the oldest tree in Europe. Legend has it that a queen and her knights found shelter under its branches, surprised by a storm during a hunting trip. The queen’s identity is not certain, it could be Joan of Aragon, Isabella of England or Joan I of Anjou. In 2006, UNESCO recognized the Chestnut Tree of the Hundred Horses as a messenger of peace monument.

Monumental trees: Monumental trees in the world

In the world there are thousands of monumental trees to admire and protect. Famous in the United States are the giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in California’s Sequoia National Park. The specimens that best represent them are General Sherman (height 83.80 meters, circumference at the base 31.30 meters) and General Grant (height 81.5 meters, circumference at the base 32.8 meters). Another monumental green patriarch is the Arbol del Tule in Mexico, which also boasts the venerable age of around 1500 years. This Montezuma Cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) is probably one of the largest trees in the world, with its estimated height of 35 meters and trunk circumference of 36.20 meters. These great witnesses of our history of the most diverse species are scattered in every corner of our planet,

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