The Common Oak is a deciduous tree that usually reaches about 70 feet (40 m) in height, with long lived species in ideal locations reaching as high as 130 feet (40 m). Trunk girths of up to 12.2 m (40 feet) have been recorded in the UK, where it is known as the English Oak, or simply as an Oak tree. It is the commonest type of tree found in the United Kingdom.
The Quercus robur plant is a native to Europe and is highly valued for its ability of attracting insects and wildlife to its own ecological ecosystem. In addition to attracting over 400 distinct species of insects, the English oak also acts as a home to numerous birds, bats, and other small animals. Jays and Squirrels in particularly like to feast on the acorns that they produce. As the oak has an open canopy many species of plants such as bluebells and primroses can grow in the light that is let through and reaches the floor of the mixed woodlands where oak trees naturally grow. Indeed, when species such as lichens are included it is thought that a single oak tree may offer support to over one thousand different species. The fruit that oaks produce, the acorn, is also a favourite food for pigs, which are often let lose into the wild to feast upon fallen acorns.
Oak photograph by Peter O'Connor, anemoneprojectors.
The oak is known for its great strength. The heartwood that it produces has long been used to create long lasting furniture, timber, buildings, ships, and strong interior support structures. One of the things that makes it so attractive for furniture makers is the growth ring patterns that look fantastic once polished up.
Due to its beloved nature it is no surprise that a large number of cultivars and hybrids have been developed. Some of these are better suited to gardens than the wild-type. See the growing and care guide section for further information on cultivars.
If you enjoy the information on this site, then you'll love my book: The Gardeners HQ Plant Growing Guide
It contains valuable information on How to Grow 500 different plant types in your Garden and sales help to support the GardenersHQ Website.
Download the PDF , MOBI (Kindle), and ePub (other readers and iPad) files and get a $1.00 discount by clicking here.
Check out our new Garden Products Reviews Section
Lawn and Maintenance