Oskoruša and its role in the garden

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Some trees are forgotten in our region, despite the fact that their cultivation has a huge benefit in terms of practical and aesthetic terms. An example is oskoruša, which will gradually disappear from Slovak vineyards and gardens…

Although land with hazelnuts, also known as hazelnuts, is rapidly declining, long-lived woody plants with healthy and delicious fruits have not yet said the last word. Some gardeners even predict a big comeback. There are several reasons. From the use of fruit in the kitchen through the practical use of wood to a decorative and at the same time protective function.

What characterizes the hawthorn?

  • It is a tall tree that grows to a height of 15 meters in the garden.
  • The crown of the hawthorn tends to be 15 to 20 meters wide.
  • With proper care, it can live 300 to 500 years.
  • In the wild, it grows in forests, meadows and vineyards.
  • White and, exceptionally, pink inflorescences bloom from May to June.
  • Its fruits are malvice with a spherical or pear-shaped shape.

Use of hazelnut fruit in the kitchen

These are the fruits whose use in the kitchen is the main reason for growing hazel in vineyards and gardens. These are characterized by a sweet delicious taste, which can be used in the production of jam, fruit juices or baby food. The use of fruits in the production of hazelnut brandy or use in the canning of apple cider is also known. However, the fruit can also be consumed raw, similar to pears or apples.

Not only tasty but also healthy fruit

A huge advantage of fruits is that they have a sweet taste even without a lot of sugars. They are said to contain less than 20% fructose and glucose, making the fruit suitable for diabetics. Not only do they supply their body with many medicinal substances, from vitamins and minerals to pectins, tannins and organic acids. This makes the fruit an effective natural remedy with antioxidant effects, especially suitable for digestive and excretory problems.

The fruits are food for birds and game

Walnut fruits do not supplement the menu only in kitchens. As a sweeter and richer type of jarabina, it is also a delicacy for birds and wild game. Oskoruša thus also has its place in forests, where it is planted by hunters as one of the sources of food for animals. It has had such uses since time immemorial and is also known from the Balkan countries, where it has been a popular and protected wood for centuries.

Oskoruša is a source of solid wood

Consumption of fruits, whether in humans or animals, does not end the use of this rare tree. In the past, Oskoruša also found application in the field of logging and wood processing. It is no coincidence that the wood is supposed to be the hardest of all woods from the old continent. However, the possibilities of its extraction and processing do not meet with positive responses due to the threat of this species, which hinders the use of the tree for wood.

Oskoruša and its protective role

For some owners of gardens or other land, the hawthorn is not interesting just because of its practical benefits. At the same time, many see in it an ornamental tree, which also has the ability to perform a protective function. As it is a fairly tall tree, in addition to creating shadows in the exterior, it can also serve as a land boundary for privacy. Exactly for this purpose, in the past it was planted on the borders of land in vineyards in various regions of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Interesting at the end…

Oskoruša, which was the Tree of the Year in 1993, has long been known as an endangered species. In some countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, they have already begun to raise targeted awareness-raising activities about its importance as well as conservation options for future generations.

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