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Editor's Picks

Michael Eason hiking in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to observe Washingtonia filifera in situ
Currently at San Antonio Botanic Garden, Michael's work has...
Amy Byrne | Feb 15, 2023
An exhibition that beautifully depicts and locates oaks
Roderick Cameron | Feb 09, 2023
Burke Oak Collection at New York Botanical Garden
The Coleman and Susan Burke Oak Collection at The New York...
Todd Forrest | Feb 08, 2023

Plant Focus

Quercus xjackiana acorns
The hybrid of Q. alba and Q. bicolor

Open up a Hollow Oak

Sabima, a Norwegian NGO, got in touch to let us know about their Hollow Oak Advent Calendar. For readers not familiar with the concept, an Advent Calendar is used to count the days leading up to Christmas. Usually starting on December 1, it includes a flap that can be lifted each successive day to reveal a picture or text. Sabima’s calendar is titled “Open up a hollow oak”: an entertaining and educational approach that allows you a closer look at an old oak tree and all its diverse inhabitants.

Advent Calendar
Sabima's Advent Calendar and leaflet

Each day you are introduced to an oak-related species. “Most of our species are quite nerdy,” says Anne Sofie Morsund, Collection Manager at Sabima, “there are plenty of lichen!” Other wildlife featured includes two different bats, a squirrel, and a mouse.

Those who buy the calendar, which is a fundraising project, also receive a leaflet with detailed and scientifically accurate stories about the different species and how they interact with each other and with the old oak tree across the seasons.

Each flap reveals an oak-related species, one for each day of December leading up to Christmas

Sabima is an umbrella organization of Norwegian biological associations. Sabima's secretariat consists of biologists and nature managers who spread knowledge about ecological issues and propose political solutions. It works with political institutions, administrative authorities, and others with an interest in the environment and nature. The goal is to ensure good management of biological diversity, encourage a sustainable use of Norwegian nature, and stop the loss of biodiversity.

For more information, visit their website (in Norwegian, accessible via your browser’s translator if necessary). You can order their Advent Calendar or other items here