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Tree with pink blossoms in field with white backdrop behind.

From Acorn to Oak Tree, a 3 Minute Time-Lapse Recorded Over Eight Months


Photographer Neil Bromhall gives us underground access to the germination of an acorn all the way to the emergence of the shoot and the first leaves of an oak tree grow.

Today’s visual technology was developed for this type of genius. Simply imagining what Thoreau could have said after watching the time-lapse of the birth of an oak tree produces great pleasure. Neil Bromhall, who lives in Oxford, is a scientific photographer that worked for the BBC for many years, and now specializes in macro and time-lapse recordings. The video above is an access to the private lair of a seedling in a forest, where the original miracle takes places, simple and pure.

In his YouTube page, Bromhall explains how the acorn was collected in September and filmed in an underground set using a two hour interval between each exposure. The acorn cracked shortly after it was planted and continued to break during the winter months. The first sign of a root was recorded in January, and in February the sprout appeared. In March, the photographer mentions, the sprout made it to the surface of the earth and from month to month the leaves began forming. What we see in the video is an example of hypogea germination.

This sequence accompanies his wonderful interactive plant identification site and botanical encyclopedia, a platform he created with the purpose of teaching the world how to solve any problem surrounding gardening and to expand the practice as much as possible. In other words, his videos and botanical endeavors are a type of sprinkler system that spreads his love for the natural world and life in its most noble form. His is a fertile and sophisticated attempt.

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