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Dear Editor, Will you please let me know why the oak tree you picture in the front page has the branches cut at an even level? Who does it? Is it a make up? Does the former do it before the photograph is taken? Or is it the cattle who do it?

Many thanks for your comments and my congratulations on your wonderful and useful page.

Dr. I. Aurrecoechea

-- Dr. Ignacio Aurrecoechea (, November 07, 2000


Your last guess was correct. Holm oaks in dehesas commonly show a "flat bottom" caused by grazing cattle. The overall horizontal shape of the canopy is also artificial - the trees are traditionally pruned and forced to spread sideways for better acorn production.

-- Damian Martin (, November 08, 2000.

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