The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Oak trees and the arcadians

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Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Corylaceae. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) Monワcia, Polyandria. THE Arcadians believed the oak to have been the first created of all trees; and when we consider its great and surpassing utility and beauty, we are fully disposed to concede it the first rank among the denizens of the forest. Springing up with a noble trunk, and stretching out its broad limbs over the soil, "These monarchs of the wood, Dark, gnarled, centennial oaks," seem proudly to bid defiance to time; and while generations of man appear and disappear, they withstand the storms of a thousand winters, and seem only to grow more venerable and majestic. They are mentioned in the oldest histories; we are told that Absalom was caught by his hair in "the thick boughs of a great oak;" and Herodotus informs us that the first oracle was that of Dodona, set up in the celebrated oak grove of that name. There, at first, the oracles were delivered by the priestesses, but, as was afterwards believed, by the inspired oaks themselves- "Which in Dodona did enshrine, So faith too fondly deemed, a voice divine."