Species: pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)
Age: 440 years years
Region: Bohuňovice, Olomouc region, Czech Republic
Majestic oak tree grows in Bohuňovice village in Olomouc region, Czech Republic. It’s the last reminder of a short alley of four oaks that reinforced the banks of so called Great lake which was founded by Olomouc aldermen in 1577. The lake doesn’t exist any more but it is said it was so big that people used their boats when they wanted to visit the church mass. The tree grows on a place called Keeper’s shed - the lake keeper’s house stood there. The tree got its name after strong man Hrom (Czech for thunder), charcoal-burner who had a cot next to the lake. The stories say that Hrom revolted against the officer of the church and refused to join his armed guards. He set his cot on fire and vanished in the woods. For it’s growth (height of 27 m and girth of 6,3 m), age of 433 years and an important historical heritage the tree was declared protected by state. The tree – Methuselah is a living witness of the peasant rebellion in mid 16th century against building the Great lake and destroying the commons where the peasants grazed their cattle. It survived the times of serfdom as well as repressions against the peasants against the battle at Bílá Hora and Thirty Years’ War. The tree is also a witness of the modern history of the surrounding villages. According to some of the inhabitants of Černovír, nine American fliers jumped off the attacked air-plane Liberator. They were taken prisoners by the German Wehrmacht and there is no further information about their destiny. The oak tree has been watching the landscape around that has significantly changed. The delicate system of neighbouring brooks disappeared, the commons were abated, the wetlands were dried up and fields were enlarged. The landscape full of life as well as the Great lake became gradually extinguished. The generations changed and the Hrom’s oak was forgotten. The civic association Senior-Activity has one aim – by promoting the tree get the local community involved in local heritage protection and appreciate the generations of our ancestors. That was the reason why they nominated Hrom’s oak in the 9th Tree of the Year contest in 2010. The tree was selected among the 12 finalists and thanks to the support of 12 thousand people deservedly won the contest. The man who the most credit of the victory goes to, is Jiří Košík. He’s a member of the civic association, who collected the votes for the tree with great enthusiasm. He visited all the schools and, town halls in the region as well as the local university and various community meetings. He got the award for the winner on the 20th October – this day is the Arbor Day in the Czech Republic. The victory in the contest was not the end of Senior-Activity’s effort to attract more attention towards the tree. Except for the special tree treatment they got as an award for the tree, they plan to build a cycling path near the tree.