The oak is perhaps the most highly valued of all European trees. The strength of its timber, its size and resistance to decay (for example in ships, furniture and wine barrels) have been contributing factors. Trees can live for over a thousand years and large old oaks are important landmarks. Old oaks are rarely seen in Finland because for hundreds of years oak forests have been destroyed to make way for farming, and for their valuable timber.
But in suitable areas in the south of Finland the oak makes a beautiful landscape tree, as well as offering a viable alternative to the species usually used for timber production. However, growing oaks to logging stature demands special skill. Several different methods have been tried at Mustila. The best stand has been grown from acorns obtained from Sangaste Manor in Estonia in the 1920s. This provenance produces fast-growing straight trees which rapidly achieve logging size. Acorns are collected here annually for widespread production.
The English oak often suffers leaf damage in late spring frosts. With bigger trees the damage is negligible because they grow new foliage in a few weeks, but small seedlings planted in areas susceptible to late frosts are another matter: they very often tend to remain shrubby in habit. Other threats to young oaks are rodents and deer.