A forest of immensely tall and unusually straight oak trees planted nearly 200 years ago to build naval ships that never came to be.
There is good reason that oak has traditionally been used in shipbuilding. The wood is incredibly strong, and if tended just right, the grain is straight and true. Going back to the Vikings, the slow-growth trees have been used in Sweden for vessels of all kinds, including naval ships. On the lake island of Visingsö there are hundreds of acres of tall and orderly oaks, all planted with an eye to the long game.It was around 1830, soon after the end of the devastating Napoleonic Wars, and the Swedish Crown sent out a delegation to search for ideal spots to plant for future ship production. Three of those emissaries came to a small croft on Visingsö, a narrow island in the middle of Vättern (Sweden’s second largest lake). Here they spied … Continue Reading (2 minute read)