Fact file: English oak

Here is a fact file to go with yesterday’s newly planted English oak:

Common name: English oak, pedunculate oak, common oak

Scientific name: Quercus robur

Family: Fagaceae

Description: A large, slow-growing deciduous tree up to 20–40m tall. Its leaves are 10cm long with 4–5 deep lobes with smooth edges; they have almost no stem and grow in bunches. The flowers are yellow hanging catkins. The acorns grow in cups on long stems called peduncles.

Habitat: English oak is a long-lived tree of high-canopy deciduous woodland and coppice. It is commonly planted in hedges but often survives the removal of the hedge to become a stand-alone mature tree like the Lone Oak in Cornfield. It grows in all kinds of soil and can tolerate intermittent flooding.

Conservation status: common and widespread; so common in England that it has assumed the status of a national emblem.

DYK: The Bowthorpe Oak in Lincolnshire is estimated to be 1,000 years old, making it the oldest English oak in the UK.

The Bowthorpe Oak © Copyright Robin Jones (CC BY-SA 2.0) geograph.com

3 thoughts on “

  1. Yes the oak is one of my favourites trees too. Part of the British landscape.

    1. We have lots of English oaks in the reserve, some of them hundreds of years old. They provide the framework for complex habitats, home to thousands of species.

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