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The oak forest on Visingsö

As far back as the Middle Ages, it was prescribed by law that the Crown had the sole right to make use of the country’s oak trees. Oak wood is excellent for shipbuilding, and to ensure access to oak timber for the Swedish fleet, major plantings of oak took place on Visingsö in the 1830s. Today the oak trees are ready for logging, but since the fleet uses other materials, the timber is used for other things.

To ensure access to good timber for the Swedish fleet after the oak forests in Swedish Pomerania were inundated following the Napoleonic Wars, the Crown had several hundred hectares of oak trees planted on Visingsö. Up until the middle of the 19th century, about 300,000 oak trees had been planted, many of which remain today, occupying an area of about 360 hectares. Today the oak forest is administered by Sweden's National Property Board. The oak trees are currently available for shipbuilding, but technological development has long made them more valuable as oak veneers for floors, whisky barrels, furnishing details for boats and many applications requiring the hard and compact oak material.