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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Ina Paarman Cork Oak

 Ina Paarman Cork Oak

(Fagaceae: Quercus suber)

Kurk-eik (Afrikaans)


champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Ina Paarman Champion Cork Oak)



Having established itself as a household name in South Africa, Paarman Foods has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

A family-run business, started by Ina Paarman and later supported by her son Graham, now 25 years later, Paarman Foods has transformed itself into an international brand, exported to 32 countries worldwide.


The Paarman estate is just as famous, having featured in several international magazines with expansive gardens, elaborate water features, a world-class treehouse and of course, the Champion Cork Oak.




champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Ground Zero water feature with Graham Paarman's award winning tree-house)



champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Ina Paarman Champion Cork Oak, the scale of the tree is impressive)



 We visited one morning delighted at the prospect of connecting with this Champion Cork Oak. Diving up the elaborate entrance and extensive driveways, you can't help noticing the famous Cork Oak's colossal structure. This Baheamouth has earned the title of the undisputed champion in South Africa. Having admired some fine specimens in and around the Cape, none come close in size or grandeur.





champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
((Ina Paarman Champion Cork Oak, a central feature to the estate)



champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,




Measured by Surveyor Mr Adrian Geach on the 4 April 2014, Height: 22,7m, Crown Growth: 32,6m, Girth: 4,58m, Size index 157. This Cork Oak on the Paarman estate was planted around the mid-19th century when the land formed part of Simon van der stel's farm Groot Constantia. Van der stel is said to have planted several Cork Oaks to make cork stoppers for his wine.




champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Ina Paarman Champion Cork Oak)



champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(These limbs are so large that support was required to maintain this elegant shape)



We were very privileged and honoured to meet Graham Paarman on this fine morning. We exchanged pleasantries and shared our mutual appreciation for this Champion tree. Graham was kind enough to give us the grand tour of his internationally acclaimed "treehouse", three levels of exceptionally handcrafted wood interiors. With sweeping views over the estate, neighbouring vineyards and the back of table mountain compleating the frame. Was it a coincidence that the Treehouse is placed right next to our Champion Tree?




champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Ground Zero water feature with Graham Paarman's award winning tree-house)


 

champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Hand crafted International award winning Treehouse)




champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Sweeping views over the estate, the back of table mountain in the distance)


Although dwarfed by this remarkable cork oak, the Treehouse strikes an extravagant pose due to its unique architecture, having won the SA Institute of Architect's highest award. 


Ina and Graham Paarman are the proud custodians of this majestic oak, and we shared a light-hearted moment while enjoying the cool shade created by the elaborate limbs. It was time to capture this enormous canopy, creating a scale to the Cork Oak, revealing its size and character.


 

champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(This Champion Cork Oak strikes a pose from every angle)


(Ground Zero water feature with Graham Paarman's award winning tree-house)
(The official confirmation and accurate sizes for this Champion)


Graham rejoined us later with two fierce-looking rottweilers and agreed to pose for a few photographs with his famous Champion Tree. It's not often that you get to spend the morning with the owner of such a fine estate, graced with an elaborate garden, with such a remarkable tree as a focal feature.




champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Mr Graham Paarman enjoying a quiet moment while we all admired this remarkable tree)


champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(The estate has a large variety of impressive trees and wide open spaces)






We revisited the Paarman estate a few months later to appreciate this majestic tree with soft morning light, hoping to capture that special moment that would portray this scene. Capturing a few images of the famous Treehouse accentuated by an impressive water feature, a replica of the Ground Zero memorial in New York, is how we ended our peaceful morning. Content with the knowledge that this Champion Cork Oak is in loving hands.   


champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse, (The Paarman estate in all its glory)

champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Such a pleasure to spend the morning in this tranquil setting)

champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse,
(Hard at work, capturing the moment and scale of this giant)


 
champion cork oak, Ina Paarman Champion Cork oak, Champion Trees, Constantia, Treehouse, (The Paarman estate in all its glory)
(Another majestic Cork Oak, many years younger but a fine specimen)






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