The oak tree has long been a symbol of strength, stability and dignity. Hardy and prolific, more than 600 species of the tree grow all over the world—80 varieties in North America alone. So it was not surprising when, in 2004, after the National Arbor Day Foundation conducted a nationwide poll to determine which tree should stand as a symbol of the United States, Americans chose the mighty oak. It was already the state tree of Iowa, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Georgia. Congress quickly responded to the poll by designating the oak as America’s official National Tree.
Although America has now embraced the tree as the embodiment of our national character, the United States is not the only country that has chosen the oak as a symbol of solidity and sturdiness. Many countries, including England, Estonia, France, Germany, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Wales, and Bulgaria have chosen the majestic oak as a national symbol.