Ava oak tree - Linnaeus resting place 1741, Fårö island, Gotland, Sweden, Copyright
Linnaean place nr 10

The famous ancient Swede Carl Linneaus – who started the Taxonomy system – took a tour around to Fårö island one day in the year of 1741.

Because of the hot weather, he and his companions rested in the shadows of the big Ava oak tree – and 268 years later we followed his historic foot steps!

The old oak tree is one of Gotland biggest and oldest trees. It was big already in 1741 when Linneaus wrote that the body of it was about 4,2 m. Today it’s about 6 m around the body.

Thankfully, already in 1911 the Ava oak tree were put under protection.

It’s filled with concrete since 1962, to save it from being destroyed and as a difference from other trees that has been filled with concrete and iron bands around them (which strangled them), this one is still full of shots.

Ava oak tree body - Linnaeus resting place 1741, Fårö island, Gotland, Sweden, Copyright

Old oak trees are hosts for insects, bugs, mushrooms, moss and some rare Lichens, so even this one. Only in Sweden, about 1000 different species of insects lives on oak trees.

When going there, you have to go through the farms gate, almost feeling like an intruder, though that feeling soon was gone when talking to the old farmer who we were lucky to spot and start talking with.

Ava farm - Linnaeus resting place 1741, Fårö island, Gotland, Sweden, Copyright

He also told us that when a big storm were passing the island recently, he almost didn’t dare to look out of the door in the morning, afraid of what he should see: imagined the tree totally damaged.

But no, there it was, not a branch were blown down, instead the flag pole – who was about 15 m from the tree – were broken by the lightening!

Don’t you just love to talk to older people? They have so much interesting stuff to tell. We stood there quite a while talking – or rather listening.

Suddenly I’m thinking of the old favorite song of mine: Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree – anyone else remembering this wonderfully romantic song…?

Lifecruiser Ava

5 Comments on “Ava oak tree – Linnaeus resting place 1741”

    LindaN said:

    Loved that song :-)

    Ling said:

    That must be one lucky tree, managing to survive all these hundreds of years. :smile:

    DianeCA said:

    The tree is really beautiful. It is amazing how nature takes care of its old treasures. I do love hearing about history and the good old days. Linneaus was honoured at the museum here in Mariestad last year, so I am quite familiar with his work, and even saw some copies of his original drawings and notes, amazing.


    Even though he didn’t go there, Linnaeus has links to Australia. One of his best students (Solander) was on Cook’s ship, which first discovered Australia, as the #2 botanist and collected numerous plant samples of this new land. They were all sorted and documented using Linnaeus’s approach.


    I do agree; listen to an old man’s wisdoms is always so interesting and educating. The story (and the photo!) of the tree is amazing!

    See you in a few days so we can sing that good old song together :-)

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