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Tree  Common Oak

Common Oak Tree - Photo  Copyright 2003 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
To help you identify different trees get the colourful fold out chart called "Tree Name Trail" from the Nature Shop - click here

Latin name: Quercus robur

Size: Up to 35 metres

Distribution: Found throughout the UK

Flowering months: May. The male flowers hang down on bright green catkins. Near the tip of each twig, on the end of long stalks, are the reddish-brown coloured female flowers.

Special features: Sometimes called the 'English' oak. When growing in open areas it has a wide, rounded crown, but woodland specimens are usually tall and slender. The timber of the oak has been used in the building of ships, houses, furniture and gates. The bark is used in the tanning of leather.

The leaves (see picture) appear just before the flowers in April. They have four or five lobes on each side, and no stalks where they join to the branches of the tree. At the base of the leaf there are rounded flaps on each side.

Every year, around September, the tree develops its fruits called 'acorns'. The acorns develop at the ends of long stalks called 'peduncles'. It is these stalks which give the tree its alternative name the 'pedunculate oak'. The acorns contain the seeds of the tree. They are also a useful source of food for squirrels and jays.

The English oak is a deciduous tree, and in the autumn, usually around November, it sheds its leaves.

Did You Know?
The oak tree can be home to more than 300 species of invertebrates.

Track Down More Info

Photo of an Oak Tree Leaf
UK Safari Tree Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved