The national tree of Cyprus is the endemic small tree or high shrub Golden oak (Quercus Alnifolia Poech). The common English name “golden oak” refers to the golden yellow colour of the lower surface of leaves.
The Golden oak is an evergreen, small tree or large shrub up to 10 m high. The flowers are unisexual; the male catkins are greenish-yellow, while its fruit is a narrowly obovate or subcylindrical nut (acorn), with brown colour at maturity; the cupule, at the base of the acorn, is closely covered with strongly recurved scales. The oldest Oak tree was more than 8 centuries old at the entrance of Lania village but sadly it collapsed in recent years. However, two more giant oak trees still exist, more or less 800 years each. One at Fyti village in Paphos and a second in an area between Pera Pedi and Koilani villages. The latter is called the oak of Ayia Mavri, due to the chapel next to the tree, and is 36 meters high.
Apparently, the oldest tree in Cyprus is in Apesia village and it is a Terebinth tree about 1500 years old. Another terebinth tree 1100 years old is in Polis Tis Chrysochou. Terebinth trees exist at the church of Angeloktisti and at the church of St George Arperas.
Kato Drys boasts of a huge Plane tree planted in 1907 while at Kalopanayiotis village a Pernia tree is more than 700 years old and 17 meters tall. Next to the chapel of St Philippos in Omodos village is a huge Laurel tree over 1000 years old. But the more well-known old trees of Cyprus are the olive trees, spread all over the countryside. For example, such old trees can be found in Anglisides village and Xyliatos village. The olive tree at Xyliatos has a periphery of 13 meters.
The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and Active Citizens Fund.