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Pedunculate oak trees in the forest in Prašnik Special Reserve

Here 4 trees are described in the forest in Prašnik Special Reserve (county of Brod-Posavina).

The Prašnik Special Reserve is the only uncut part of the once huge Slavonian floodplain Oak Forests along the Sava and Drava rivers. In the mid 18th century these virgin forests still covered about 750.000 hectares. In the 1920's only 7500 hectares had not been destroyed, but even these were cut. Only the tiny Prašnik forest of 53.35 hectares was left and declared a reserve. Oaks over 300 years old can be found here. The forest can not really be called virgin / pristine / primeval or old growth: the Sava river is behind dikes now and has not flooded this area for 60 years. The water tables are much lower than a century ago, because of the dikes, agricultural measures and also the climate change, resulting in warmer (and dryer?) summers.

Formerly the forest was rather open and oak could regenerate here. During recent decades hornbeam has become much more prevalent, forming a dense second layer in the forest. Oaks can no longer regenerate in these circumstances. Many of the older oaks have died, probably because of the lower water table.

In the forest a few other tree species can be seen, among them Ulmus minor and Acer campestre and at relatively high locations a few large, old beeches.

In June 2012 Michael Spraggon, KoutaR and Jeroen Philippona were able to visit this forest reserve thanks to Mrs. Katica Nuspahić, forest engineer of the Croatian Forestry Institute and Mr. Krunoslav Szabo, head-forester of Okucani Forest Office. They guided them in the forest and gave a lot of information.

In the Slavonian floodplain now many more oak forests can be seen, but none of them are original old growth forests. Several of them have been planted from the mid nineteenth century. Especially in the eastern part of Croatia there are again large and beautiful oak forests with trees of around 150 years, which make a natural impression and are ecologically very valuable.

The trees

Location 1:

Specimen Girth Height
Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) "8557" 7.82 m @ 1.30 m 39.60 m
Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) "9431" ? ?

In front novi varos:

Specimen Girth Height
Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) "9540" ? ?
Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) "9458" ? ?

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Location 1

Forest, picture by Jeroen Philippona

Forest, picture by Jeroen Philippona

Forest, picture by Jeroen Philippona

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Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) "8557"

Forest, picture by Jeroen Philippona

The largest oak in Prasnik Forest with our guides mrs. Katica Nuspahic and mr. Krunoslav Szabo.

Forest, picture by Jeroen Philippona

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