Quercus robur, commonly known as common oak, pedunculate oak, European oak or English oak, is a species of flowering plant in the beech and oak family, Fagaceae. It is native to most of Europe west of the Caucasus. The tree is widely cultivated in temperate regions and has escaped into the wild in scattered parts of China and North America.
Just one oak can support more than 1,000 other species.
We will donate a percentage to regenerating our forests.
Quercus robur is a large deciduous tree, with circumference of grand oaks from 4 m (13 ft) to exceptional 12 m (39 ft). The Majesty Oak with a circumference of 12.2 m (40 ft) is the thickest tree in Great Britain, and the Kaive Oak in Latvia with a circumference of 10.2 m (33 ft) is the thickest tree in Northern Europe. Quercus robur has lobed and nearly sessile (very short-stalked) leaves 7–14 cm (2.8–5.5 in) long. Flowering takes place in mid spring, and the fruit, called acorns, ripen by mid autumn.
It is a long-lived tree, with a large wide spreading crown of rugged branches. While it may naturally live to an age of a few centuries, many of the oldest trees are pollarded or coppiced, both pruning techniques that extend the tree’s potential lifespan, if not its health.
UK sourced and grown: Every sapling that we use is UK sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. Seeds are collected and stored in the UK, and they are all coded and batched so that we can track each individual tree.
Within its native range Q. robur is valued for its importance to insects and other wildlife. Numerous insects live on the leaves, buds, and in the acorns.
Q. robur supports the highest biodiversity of insect herbivores of any British plant (>400 spp). The acorns form a valuable food resource for several small mammals and some birds, notably Eurasian jays Garrulus glandarius. Jays were overwhelmingly the primary propagators of oaks before humans began planting them commercially (and still remain the principal propagators for wild oaks), because of their habit of taking acorns from the umbra of its parent tree and burying them undamaged elsewhere.
Two individuals of notable longevity are the Stelmužė Oak in Lithuania and the Granit Oak in Bulgaria, which are believed to be more than 1500 years old, possibly making them the oldest oaks in Europe; another specimen, called the ‘Kongeegen’ (‘Kings Oak’), estimated to be about 1200 years old, grows in Jaegerspris, Denmark. Yet another can be found in Kvilleken, Sweden, that is over 1000 years old and 14 metres (46 ft) around. Of maiden (not pollarded) specimens, one of the oldest is the great oak of Ivenack, Germany.
Tree-ring research of this tree and other oaks nearby gives an estimated age of 700 to 800 years. Also the Bowthorpe Oak in Lincolnshire, England is estimated to be 1000 years old, making it the oldest in the UK, although there is Knightwood Oak in the New Forest that is also said to be as old.
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