Yew Tree in San Cristobal de Valdueza

Tejo en San Cristóbal de ValduezaHigh resolution image. This link will open using lightbox, there may be a context switchTejo en San Cristóbal de Valdueza The Yew, the sacred tree of the celts, has found in San Cristóbal its sacred and magic place near the chapel.

It must be regarded as a relic, an authentic vegetable monument which is really alive.

There has been a lot of talk about its age. Madoz already mentioned it in his Geographical Dictionary of Spain and according to P.G. Trapiello "it looked in bewilderment at what was happening in El Bierzo a long time ago, even before the first stone of the Cathedral of León was placed".

The persistent habit of planting yews near the houses or on the edges of the meadows is without any doubt an unconscious and collective interest in being loyal to the habits of their ancestors of the astur-celtic religion that is deeply rooted in the heart of their children.

SPECIES: Westfelton Yew (Taxus baccata)
VILLAGE: San Cristóbal de Valdueza
HEIGHT: 13,75 m
PERIMETER (1,30 m): 4,80 m

Forest of Chestnuts in Compludo

Soto de Castaños en CompludoSoto de Castaños en Compludo The way that goes among isolated orchards surrounded by stone walls from Compludo leads us to the river Miera. We can cross it over a stone bridge and go up to Palacios de Compludo.

The splendid hundred-year-old chestnuts line up along the lane. You can get into the forest taking two turns on the left.

The chestnuts, deeply planted in this steep slope have twisted trunks that form fanciful shapes and their perimeter can measure more than 8 meters.

SPECIES: Spanish Chestnuts (Castanea sativa)
VILLAGE: Compludo

Holm Oak of Saint Blas in Campo

Encina de San Blas en CampoEncina de San Blas en Campo La A long time ago the holm oak was the most common tree in the so called "olla berciana"(a range of mountains), and it formed an important ecosystem that generated richness.

The infraestructures, cutting and intensive farming have turned the Holm oak into a species in absolute decline.

Poor old Holm oak that has always offered the man all its properties; acorns and pasture for the cattle, wood for the winter, shadow in the summer and on the whole a burst of life and prosperity.

This tree will probably suffer from the teeth of the chain saw or the mortal blow of the bulldozer when this happens...

The majestic holm oak, next to the Saint Blas Church will be safe in the future, not only because of being a monumental tree but also and moreover, because the people from the area are really fond of this tree.

SPECIES: Holm oak (Quercus ilex) (Quercus ilex)
HEIGHT: 14 m
PERIMETER (1,30 m): 4,20 m

Walnut Tree of Uncle Eusebio in Espinoso de Compludo

Nogal del Tío Eusebio en Espinoso de CompludoNogal del Tío Eusebio en Espinoso de Compludo
The old walnut tree in Espinoso is one of the few survivors among those great walnut trees which were planted in the villages of the mountain and which were cut in a hurry in the forties and the fifties.

The considerable amount of money obtained after the sale was an actual source of income for the population which suffered from a constant although rather variable migration according to the situation of the centers which received them in that moment.

The walnut trees produced several carts of bark that were sold later.

These trees integrated in harmony within the villages; the people have met under their big shadow for generations either to celebrate a wedding reception, a baptism or to have a good dinner with those people who had helped to scutch the wheat with sticks in order to remove the straw.

It seems that the walnut trees never grew successfully in Espinoso de Compludo because of their height; on the contrary, they really did it well in the valley of Compludo where the people say that some of them were the tallest walnuts in Spain.

In the place of reguerón, this walnut tree escaped the teeth of the saw because it was hollow and lacked the precious black wood that was worth its weight in gold. Nevertheless it was in danger when the long-awaited road to the village was built or when a fussy timber merchant from la Valdueza wanted to cut it in order to exhibit the trunk like an inert sculpture.

SPECIES: Walnut tree (Juglans regia) (Juglans regia)
VILLAGE: Espinoso de Compludo
PERIMETER: (a 1,30m): 6,70 m

Spindle Tree in Rimor

Evónimo en RimorEvónimo en Rimor The cypress, the olive tree and the box together with the mythical yew tree, are the species that you can traditionally find in the graveyards in León. These sacred and evergreen trees that grow rather discreetly have all the appropriate qualities to be planted in such a peaceful place.

In the graveyard of Rimor there aren't any yew trees but a spindle tree has been planted in the southern area of the careo (an area of grazing land) of Saint Jorge church. It seems that nobody can remember how long this tree has been there but everybody is fond of this tree because of its red fruits in early winter and its shape.

It seems that it is lying on the ground because the trunk of this bush bends as it is growing, so a pillar was placed like a hard pillow in order to avoid its contact with the ground.

SPECIES: Spindle tree Evonymus japonicus (Evonymus japonicus)

Incense Cedar in La Finca de Valdés in Ponferrada
Cedro de Incienso en la Finca de Valdés en PonferradaCedro de Incienso en la Finca de Valdés en Ponferrada
The property "Finca de Valdés" is situated near the town of Campo and many citizens from Ponferrada consider it as the symbol of the great inheritance that Miguel Fustegueras "Valdés".

Left them more than thirty years ago. This important and enigmatic figure was in charge of managing the different properties that the family had acquired during the time of the disentailment in the 19th century. He ordered to sell all his lands and properties in his will so as to build a residential home for the elderly.

A philantropic decision that was finally carried out about thirty years after he died. The castillete, which was probably built at the end of the last century, and the area of gardens have been ignored in the restoration of the land. This is a very interesting botanical sample that has suffered the consequences of robbery, oblivion and fire for a longtime.

In this botanical garden full of umbrella pines, olive trees, holm oaks, maples, strawberry trees, palm trees, magnolia trees, laurels, etc, the 31-meter-high California Cedar or Incense Cedar rises expectantly.

SPECIES: California white Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)
HEIGHT: 31,20 m
PERIMETER (1,30 m): 2,55 m

Wisteria at the Casa de los Escudos in Ponferrada

casa de los escudosHigh resolution image. This link will open using lightbox, there may be a context switchcasa de los escudos
The wisteria is a climber that comes from Asia and became known in Europe in 1816.

In spring (April and May) (Abril and May) it flourishes brightly and at the end of the summer it becomes less exuberant.

The specimen at the Casa de los Escudos has been preserved by the people from Ponferrada for many generations. Its consolidation is about to happen to prevent the balconies from being damaged due to the restoration of the building that will provide the space for the Radio Museum.

SPECIES: Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)
VILLAGE: Ponferrada
HEIGHT: 2,30 m