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Plant Focus

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A-Sharnu: Restoring Oaks to the Sharon Region

IOS member Ezra Barnea brought to our attention the work of Ofri Bar, who recently completed a Landscape Architect degree at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. His graduate thesis, A-Sharnu, is a program to regenerate Mt. Tabor oaks (Quercus ithaburensis) in the Sharon region. See below a description of the project and links to download a poster of the proposal and the full presentation of the program. 

"A-Sharnu" means in Akkadian "a thick forest". That is probably the source of the name "Sharon", a region in central Israel. It describes the land as it used to be, an extensive area on which the Tabor oak forest grew.

Unfortunately, the forest has been damaged by human activity, so there is almost no trace of it left. The vision of the project is the restoration of the oak trees so that they will return and form a central element in Sharon's scenic identity, as well as a link between localities, and between nature and man.

The design process traces the concept of "New Nature". The term describes a man-made nature, which gradually replaces the initial nature on earth. Various strategies based on the principles of "New Nature" were chosen. At the same time, three typical appearances of Tabor oaks were identified as a result of the tree inventory analysis. They were named according to their growing environments: "City oaks", "Country oaks", and "Wild oaks".

A master plan has been formulated for the return of the Tabor oaks to the Sharon landscape, and its implementation is being proposed in detailed planning in three adjacent areas (East Netanya, Kfar-Yona ,and Kadima-Zuran Forest). A walking trail named "The Sharon Oaks Trail" was designed, which enriches the area with new content and allows the appreciation, study, and enjoyment of old trees and new plantings.

The final product of the project is a complete landscape system that takes into account the expansion plans of existing localities and includes recreation complexes, walking trails, open areas, and ecological passages. The project strengthens the status of Tabor oaks in central Sharon.

Click on these links of the images below to download the poster and the full presentation of the project.