Tärkma Sacrificial Oak

Tärkma küla

Estonians have always honoured trees. They believed that trees had souls like other living creatures. Some trees were considered sacred and protection was asked from them in turn for sacrifices. Oaks, lime trees and pines were the most common sacred trees in Estonia. However, it was the shape, location or the relation to an important event rather than the species that made a tree sacred.

In Hiiumaa, it was though that Ülendi small-leaved lime in Kõpu can cure skin diseases if a piece of cloth was torn from clothes on top of the damaged skin and nailed to the trunk of the tree. For another sacred tree, Tärkma sacrificial oak, it is not clear for what purposes sacrifices were offered up.

In this climate, an oak (Quercus robur) may live up to 700 years. Oaks are the oldest trees in Estonia. Our ancestors said that the first 300 years an oak shoots up to the height, the next 300 years it becomes thicker and the following 300 years it just stands there as it is. Tärkma sacrificial oak is believed to be more than 600 years old. Its growth has obviously been hampered by strong winds because it is only 11 meters high, but it is very thick, its breast height diameter (at the height of 1.3 meters) is a little more than five meters.

It is a waypoint on the journey

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