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The Ancient Ash Tree
If you want to be on your own for a long day in a magnificent deciduous forest in demanding terrain, then HOLMESDALSBERGET is the right place. This is a big forested area by Matres Fjord in the southwestly part of Kinnherad. Here, we find one of the largest deciduous forests in Hordaland. The forest stretches over several kilometres.
Some of the giant trees in Hopslia north of Holme Fjord are as much as thirty metres high. Elm and ash are the most common, basswood somewhat rarer. Relatively soft bedrock, good growing conditions and enough light, help them to thrive just here.
Flowering lime is one of nature's blessings: The nectar gives clear honey. The flower is used as folk medicine. From the inner bark of the lime tree one can make strong rope. Elderly folk can still tell how they got a weather report from the lime tree. If it smelled strong, it was probably going to rain. Lime often grows together with elm, ash and other tree species of the deciduous forest. Pure lime forests are rarer. Granvin has Hordaland's biggest lime forests.
One of the most magnificent deciduous forests in Hordaland grows along the border with Kvam. The rich growth comes from the phyllite and mica schist bedrock, together with a good climate. Along the fjord the summer is warm but not too dry, and in winter it is not too cold for plants that do not tolerate the frost.
On Vollom, northwest of Seim, we find the only natural beech forest in Western Norway, which is also the most northerly of its type in the world. Beech grows also many other places in the county, but these trees are totally lacking in history compared with those of Vollomskogen Forest.