The Black Oak, quercus velutina, is a beautiful tree, growing up into 100 feet. It has glossy notched leaves, and large bitter acorns, and is a favorite of gall wasps who nest in its leaves and squirrels. It is a high-maintenance tree, needing expert pruning near buildings and power lines, however, these excess boughs make excellent wands. Prized for lumber, some planks found in Medieval cathedrals, have endured from beyond the prior Millenium. Food value, almost nil, even squirrels will leave the acorns to leach into the soil before eating. Good source of tannin, surrounding lawns should be fed lime to offset. Shade value, lovely. Dipping branches, wet with winter rain, unmatched. Very storm-resistant, it survives through shedding brittle outside boughs, while the trunk grips the ground: it will live for many generations-- the Charter Oak, which was found to be in excess of 1000 years old, was of this type. The Vanderbilt Family has it in their family crest, and my own family planted one we grew from an acorn 80 years ago, when we bought our first house (Google Earth 167 Treadwell St.Hamden, Ct.)

Endlessly replicated in the design of Grand Central Terminal, it was the 'seed' in Wall-E...

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