Ancient trees

//Ancient trees
Ancient trees 2018-12-03T01:49:46+00:00

The Giants of the Reserve

One of the main attractions of Valli Cupe Reserve is certainly represented by the abundant presence of monumental plants, of considerable size and often of very advanced age. It is a widespread presence, so much that they can easily be encountered in the territory of all the Municipalities of the Presila area.

Particularly interesting are “il Gigante Buono” – the Good Giant, the Giants of Cavallopoli, centuries-old chestnut trees of incomparable beauty, and “il Gigante silano degli ulivi” – the olive tree Giant of the Sila Mountain – an imposing laricio pine tree presumably over the age of 300 years.

The Good Giant is a chestnut tree of about 500 years with a circumference of over 8 meters. It is a real temple of nature, with a powerful trunk and a foliage that seems to be able to embrace multitudes of people. The name given to the tree expresses the popular gratitude to a plant that has been able to feed people living on the mountain for generations, so that it is referred to as the bread tree. In fact, when the availability of wheat was very limited, especially for the mountain populations forced to live in an environment that is not always suitable for the production of cereals, it was the chestnut flour that satisfied the basic food requirements: it was the precious ingredient to make bread and raw material to prepare tasty and delicious desserts.

The Giants of Cavallopoli are ancient chestnut trees of significant size, among them the Malandrino Giant whose circumference is about 7 meters must be mentioned, although it seldom produces fruits in comparison with its huge dimensions. In fact, its name is linked to this last characteristic – for this reason it is called The rascal Giant –in contrast with the name Good Giant that is situated not much far from it and, on the contrary, is generous in providing fruits. This group of giants takes its denomination from the close little fall of Cavallopoli surrounded by wide granite bounders and covered by a green mantle of moss that makes this location particularly evocative.

The olive tree Giant of the Sila Mountain is an ancient laricio pine whose perimeter is of around 2 meters, with a height of about 35 meters and it dominates over a declivity plenty of olden olive trees. The olive groves of the internal hill (most of times on uprooted fields of the Mediterranean stain) and the titanic laricio pines of the Sila Mountain belong to strongly distinct environments and landscapes that follow one another over the Reserve in quite specific areas. The former is typical of the phitoclimatic band of the Lauretum, while the latter is typical of the mountain plain trait falling in the Fagetum band.

The other majestic trees

In the neighboring areas of the Reserve other ancient chestnut trees are noticeable because of their majestic state. Among the largest ones of the whole southern Sila Mountain, some of them borders on 10 meters of perimeter. In this regard, the ones that deserve of being mentioned are the Giants of Melitani.

Magnificent examples of oaks trees such as Turkey oak, holly oak and English oak are present in Campanò, a locality in the National Park of Sila Mountain. They are among the most prominent oaks in the whole Sila Piccola Mountain, likewise the impressive examples of maple, beech and laricio pine.

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