The Forêt de Bercé is one of the famous old French sessile oak forests. It covers 5380 hectare and is well known for the production of high-quality sessile-oak timber. During the reign of Louis XIV the Minister Colbert started around 1685 large plantings of sessile oak in this forest as well as several others, most famous among wich is the Forêt de Tronçais.
The oaks were meant to have long growing periods of 160 to 240 years. The trees were grown to have long, clear trunks for high quality timber for wine tonnery, veneer and building.
Of the 17th century Colbert plantings still one part of 8 hectare is left, the Futaie des Clos. It was managed by the French Forest Office and planned to be harvested between 1903 and 1933. In 1895 it was decided to preserve this remarkable stand. In 1930 followed an official protection as an "artistic parel".
Other interesting parts of the forest are some sheltered valleys were grow very tall sessile oaks and beeches.
The two most outstanding among these are the valley near the Fontaine de la Coudre and the valley of the Sources de l'Hermitière.
The oaks here are less old than in the Futaie des Clos but probably date from the mid eighteenth century.
In the valley of the Sources de l''Hermitiere:
|European beech (Fagus sylvatica) "10383"||~ 3.00 m @ 1.30 m||44.60 m|
|Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) "8235"||3.13 m @ 1.30 m||48.40 m|
|Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) "8243"||3.66 m @ 1.30 m||46.00 m|
|Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) "8244"||3.74 m @ 1.50 m||43.30 m|
In the valley near "Fontaine de la Coudre":
|Chêne Emery (sessile oak "8221")||3.41 m @ 1.30 m||48.10 m|
|Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) "8251"||3.94 m @ 1.30 m||47.00 m|
In het "Futaie des Clos":
|Roulleau de la Roussière (sessile oak "10556")||~ 3.40 m @ 1.50 m||41.60 m|
|Chêne Boppe (sessile oak "8253")||3.45 m @ 1.30 m||41.00 m|
|Chêne Muriel (sessile oak "8250")||3.66 m @ 1.30 m||43.50 m|
|Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) "8308"||4.06 m @ 1.30 m||44.00 m|
|Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) "8252"||4.34 m @ 1.30 m||40.50 m|