Oak in Dubinné
Species: pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)
Age: 800 years years
Region: Dubinné, Prešov region, Slovakia
Ancient oak tree grows in the village of Dubinné which was founded near the ancient oak forest between two rivers – Topla and Cerinka. The first written reference to the village Dubinne comes back to 1 327 but it is obvious that in the village was established at least 100 years earlier. The Oak in Dubinne is at least 800 years old, most probably even more. It is possible that the village was built around the oak which had to be a majestic tree already at those times. The villagers have been able to protect their tree by nowadays, although its fate, tightly coupled with the destiny of the people, have been often tough. During the Hussites’ movement in Slovakia (1440-1465) the villagers have paid a high compensation to soldiers to not cut the sacred tree. Similarly the tree was saved during the First and Second World Wars, when the tree served as an aiming mark. Villagers begged the Austrians to not fire to the tree and later they convinced the Germans the save the tree, who wanted to cut it because the Soviet Armies artillery used it for orientation. Later on the Oak stood in way to engineers and constructors during the electrification of the village and the community had to raise the voice for the tree again. The Oak is hollow and the oldest parts of the trunk have rotten. Despite all that, the tree is still growing and its days are not getting short. The base of the tree used to be lower than it is now, and the hollow space was larger. In the hot days both the men and the owls would find the shelter there. 100 years ago the Gypsies even kept the pigs in its hollow. However, later on the hornets moved in, which turned to be almost fatal for the tree. In 1985 someone threw the smoke shell to force the hornets out, but it set the tree in fire. Four fire-trucks full of water were needed to quench the fire. The fire injured the tree badly but two years later it was given the good treatment which healed it up. The undermined health condition of the tree got markedly better. In 1995 the tree has been stroked by the flash that harmed the tree again. To many people the tree is an important monument during recent years – in 1975 the volunteers organized the collection to secure necessary maintenance, since than the village contributes with small amounts, because the state is somehow not willing to do so. Although the Oak in Dubinne is not the “beauty”, it deserves our protection, attention and respect for its impressive age and extraordinary history.