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Panorama picture from Birkenes Municipality in Norway




THE MOLLESTAD OAK

The Mollestad-oak is one of the biggest trees in Norway with regard to the thickness and circumferencr. Only two oaktrees in Ullensvang and Horten are bigger. The Mollestad-oak is hollow, but it is still growing. The hole in the middle has a diameter of 1.30 meters. The tree has six large boughs, and the crown covers a flat of more than 200 square metres.

Facts about the tree: Age about 1000 years, Circumference 10,5 metres, Thickness 3,5 metres, Height 15 metres, Diameter of the crown 16-17 metres, Circumference of the crown 50 metres, Circumfer largest bough 2,58 metres.

TRADITIONS AND LEGENDS

The Vette-oak is another name of this particular oak-tree. Several legends of unnatural growth and underground beings are told about the tree. Our ancient fathers belived that the man who did the pioneer work went on living as a guardian ghost in his barrow. The place became holy and the trees growing there were called vette-trees and had to be taken care of. During the years people have sacrificed food, milk and beer to the tree.

The first beer that was tapped from the barrel had to be given to the oak. If this wasn´t done they were convinced that the prosperity would vanish from the farm, and that great poverty would come. And if a vette-tree was damaged. a disaster would happen. If the booklet about the Mollestad-oak you´ll find eight legends represented.