Oak-Human Connections

Oaks contribute to a sense of place and culture. Looking into this closely, we can see that oaks are a very important part of not just the ecosystems and economy, but also of the cultural identity of the regions where they belong.

There is no shortage of cultural connections to the oak, as their “roots” run deep into folklore, mythology, literature, and folk songs in both Western Civilization and North American Indigenous histories. There are dozen of tales of oak fairies and references to how ancient cultures viewed these trees as sacred. The Celtic associated the oak with tree with strength, naming it in Gaelic as “duir” (Ireland-calling.com). Native Americas also placed great importance on the oak, and have a legend know as the “Sacred Oak” where praying at the oak brings about positive change in a time of need (internationaloaksociety.com).


Oaks were also used more tangibly as well throughout history. Today, when hearing the word oak, we most often associate it with lumber which is used to build furniture, hardwood flooring, and even wine barrels. In the past, it was readily used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans and Appalachian settlers. Natives would also commonly use the acorns to grind up into flour, which was a lengthy processed that required them to gather large bundles of acorns, let them sit in the stream for days to remove tannins, and finally grind them up with a mortar and pestle. The Nutty Buddy Collective, in Ashville, NC, produces acorn flour today through a similar, but modernized method.


Furthermore, oak trees are spectacle across the land and likely one of the most recognizable trees. They provide a nice shady spot on a hot summers day and natural jungle gym for climbing adventures. Oak trees are a stable in our ecosystems and in our lives, one that should be preserved for future generations.

~ Isabelle Kennedy

(This page and the links below are still under construction.

Please be patient as we continue to build it.)

Oaks contribute to a sense of place and culture. Looking into this closely, we can see that oaks are a very important part of not just the ecosystems and economy, but also of the cultural identity of the regions where they belong.

There is no shortage of cultural connections to the oak, as their “roots” run deep into folklore, mythology, literature, and folk songs in both Western Civilization and North American Indigenous histories. There are dozen of tales of oak fairies and references to how ancient cultures viewed these trees as sacred. The Celtic associated the oak with tree with strength, naming it in Gaelic as “duir” (Ireland-calling.com). Native Americas also placed great importance on the oak, and have a legend know as the “Sacred Oak” where praying at the oak brings about positive change in a time of need (internationaloaksociety.com).


Oaks were also used more tangibly as well throughout history. Today, when hearing the word oak, we most often associate it with lumber which is used to build furniture, hardwood flooring, and even wine barrels. In the past, it was readily used for medicinal purposes by Native Americans and Appalachian settlers. Traditionally, acorns were ground up into flour, which was a lengthy processed that required them to gather large bundles of acorns, let them sit in the stream for days to remove tannins, and finally grind them up with a mortar and pestle. The Nutty Buddy Collective, in Ashville, NC, produces acorn flour today through a similar, but modernized method. Acorns may represent a future perennial forest food crop worth investigating. 


Furthermore, oak trees are spectacle across the land and likely one of the most recognizable trees. They provide a nice shady spot on a hot summers day and natural jungle gym for climbing adventures. Oak trees are a stable in our ecosystems and in our lives, one that should be preserved for future generations.

~ Isabelle Kennedy

(This page and the links below are still under construction.

Please be patient as we continue to build it.)