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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The English oak flowers between May and June. Towards the end of summer the acorns begin to ripen, becoming fully ripe by October (2). The acorns are rich in starch and tannins, and are eaten by small mammals and a number of birds. Jays and squirrels are extremely important in dispersing acorns away from the parent trees; they bury them for later consumption, and many of these acorns germinate (4). Young oak trees are vulnerable to insect predation. They grow very quickly, but after reaching 100-200 years of age their rate of growth slows down. After this time, however they continue to increase in girth (5). This oak is a very long-lived species; specimens typically live for up to 500 years, but some oaks are known to be 700 to 1200 years old (5). Indeed, Britain has more ancient oaks than any other country in western Europe (4). Acorns were once widely used to feed pigs; they were also ground down to make a substitute for coffee and even a type of bread (5). A good crop of acorns was used to predict a good harvest, and a heavy fall of acorns was thought to signal an impending harsh winter (5). Oak Apple Day occurs on the 29th of May, and commemorates the return of Charles II to London after exile. During exile, he was hidden inside an oak tree, and he declared that the 29th of May should be set aside as a holiday for 'the dressing of trees'. It is not certain why the day is named after oak apples, the spongy galls caused by parasitic wasps (4).
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English oak was originally planted because it could be used in so many ways. Not only is the wood very hardy, the bark was used for tanning and branches for firewood. Later on, it was planted to convert pine forests into deciduous woods. English oak grows well in many soils, as long as it has sufficient light. This species of oak can reach a very ripe old age. The oldest know English Oak in Europe grows in Lithuania and is 1500 years old!
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Description

This oak, the 'king of trees' has a special place in the English psyche, and is a well-loved symbol of strength and duration (4). It is a magnificent tree, with a broad, irregular crown. The bark is grey and fissured, and develops burrs as it ages (5). The massive main branches often develop low on the trunk and become twisted and gnarled with age (2). The leaves have 5-7 pairs of lobes, forming a typical 'wavy-edged' outline; the upper surface is dark green, the underside is paler, and young leaves are often covered in a layer of fine downy hairs (2). The fruits, known as acorns, occur in clusters on long stalks known as peduncles (hence the common name of this species); the egg-shaped acorns sit in scaly cups that measure up to 18mm across (6).
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Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, High Altitudes, Cultivated, Native of Malaysian Region"
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Distribution

Range Description

Widespread in Europe, Russia, and parts of central Asia (Kazakhstan). The list of countries of occurrence is incomplete.
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Range

Widespread throughout Britain and much of the rest of Europe, with the exception of the far north and some areas of the Mediterranean (2).
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Distribution: Temperate and S. Europe, Turkey, N. Iran, Caucasus, occasionally cultivated in N. America.
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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"Tamil Nadu: Dindigul, Nilgiri"
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introduced from Europe; B.C., N.B., N.S., P.E.I.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

A tree 25 m or more tall. Leaves auricled at the base, ovate, 3.5-11.5 cm long, sinuately lobed or pinnatifid or -partite; lobes obtuse, upper surface dark green, lower pale green; petiole 4-6 mm long. Male flowers in lax catkins, 4-5.7 cm long; perianth segments lanceolate, c. 1.8 mm long, tomentose; stamens 4-9, filaments 1.5 mm long. Female flowers on stout peduncles; styles c. 1 mm long; stigma subcapitate. Acorn 2-2.4 cm long, glabrescent, yellowish-brown, 1/3 to 1/2 enclosed by the cupule, hemispherical, 2-2.2 cm broad, pubescent; scales broadly ovate, acute.
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Description

Trees 40-50 m tall, deciduous. Young branchlets pubescent, soon glabrescent; branchlets reddish brown, glabrous, lenticellate; lenticels brownish, rounded. Petiole 2-5 mm, glabrous; leaf blade obovate to narrowly so, 5-17 × 2-10 cm, abaxially greenish and hairy along veins but glabrescent, adaxially green, base narrowly rounded to auriculate, margin with 5-7 rounded or retuse lobes on each side, apex truncate to shortly acuminate; secondary veins 5-7(-10) on each side of midvein. Female inflorescences axillary on apical part of young shoot, 0.5-2 cm. Perianth usually 6-lobed. Cupule shallowly cupular, ca. 8 mm × 1.2-1.5 cm, enclosing ca. 1/3 of nut; bracts triangular, ca. 1.5 mm, flat or abaxially slightly protruding, sparsely pubescent. Nut ovoid to ovoid-ellipsoid, 1.5-1.8 × 1-1.3 cm, apex pubescent; scar ca. 5 mm in diam., slightly raised. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Sep-Oct.
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Description

Trees , deciduous, to 30 m. Bark light gray, scaly. Twigs brown, 2-3 mm diam., glabrous. Buds dark brown, ovoid, distally obtuse, 2-3 mm, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 3-6 mm. Leaf blade obovate to narrowly elliptic or narrowly obovate (some cultivars oblanceolate), (50-)70-150(-200) × (20-)35-85(-100) mm, base strongly cordate, often minutely revolute or folded, margins moderately to deeply lobed, lobes rounded or retuse distally, sinuses extending 1/3-7/8 distance to midrib, secondary veins arched, divergent, (3-)5-7 on each side, apex broadly rounded; surfaces abaxially light green, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, glabrous at maturity, adaxially deep green to light green or gray, dull or glossy. Acorns 1-3, on very thin (1-2 mm diam.), flexuous peduncle (25-)35-65(-100) mm; cup hemispheric to deeply goblet-shaped, enclosing 1/4-1/2 nut or more, scales closely appressed, often in concentric rows, finely grayish tomentose; nut brown, ovoid, oblong, or cylindric, 15-30(-35) × 12-20 mm, glabrous. Cotyledons distinct. 2 n = 24.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Tree
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Synonym

Quercus pedunculata Ehrhart
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Roadsides, pastures, forest margins and woodlands; 0-1000m.
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The pedunculate oak is the dominant tree of deciduous woods in Britain, it occurs in coppice woodland, high forest and ancient wood pastureland, and has often been planted in hedgerows. It is able to grow in a range of soil types, but prefers those that are fertile and heavy (3).
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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated. Beijing Shi, Shandong, Xinjiang [native to Europe]
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Associations

Foodplant / gall
sexual larva of Andricus fecundator causes gall of catkin (male) of Quercus robur

Foodplant / gall
solitary agamic larva of Andricus quercuscalicis causes gall of live cupule of Quercus robur

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Athelopsis lembospora is saprobic on decayed wood of Quercus robur
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Calycellina punctata is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious, superficial cleistothecium of Cephalotheca sulfurea is saprobic on rotting bark (inner surface) of Quercus robur

Plant / associate
resupinate, gelatinous fruitbody of Corticium quercicola is associated with wood of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 2-5

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius sanguineus is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Quercus robur

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous uredium of Cronartium quercuum parasitises live leaf (sucker shoot) of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Crustomyces subabruptus is saprobic on fallen, decayed trunk (large) of Quercus robur

Foodplant / mobile cased feeder
larva of Cryptocephalus coryli grazes in mobile case on fallen leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: captive: in captivity, culture, or experimentally induced

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Dendrothele commixta is saprobic on dead, attached twig of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Diplocladiella dematiaceous anamorph of Diplocladiella scalaroides is saprobic on fallen, dead, decaying peduncle of Quercus robur

Plant / resting place / on
Drepanothrips reuteri may be found on live leaf of Quercus robur
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
Erysiphe alphitoides parasitises Quercus robur

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Fomes fomentarius parasitises live, standing trunk of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
transversely elongate or oblong, immersed, then erumpent, imperfectly multiloculate stroma of Fusicoccum coelomycetous anamorph of Fusicoccum quercinum is saprobic on bark of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 4-5

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Graddonidiscus coruscatus is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 10-12

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hericium cirrhatum is saprobic on fallen, decayed wood of Quercus robur
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Hygrophorus chrysodon is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Quercus robur
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Hypochnicium subrigescens is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed wood of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, solitary or in groups perithecium of Hypospilina pustula is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf (often near veil) of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 3-8

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Inonotus dryadeus is saprobic on live trunk (base) of old, large tree of Quercus robur
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
stalked apothecium of Lachnum soppittii is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 7-2

Foodplant / saprobe
amphigenous, effuse colony of Lobatipedis dematiaceous anamorph of Lobatopedis foliicola is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 8-10

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Marasmius quercophilus is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed leaf of Quercus robur
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Marasmius setosus is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed petiole of Quercus robur
Other: unusual host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
amphigenous thyriothecium of Microthyrium ilicinum is saprobic on dead, fallen, rotting, greyed leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 4-10

Foodplant / saprobe
mostly epiphyllous thyriothecium of Microthyrium microscopicum is saprobic on dead, fallen, rotting leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 1-12

Plant / associate
mycelial muff of tree of Morchella esculenta is associated with live root of Quercus robur
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
hypophyllous pycnidium of Phyllosticta coelomycetous anamorph of Mycosphaerella punctiformis is saprobic on dead leaf of Quercus robur

Plant / resting place / on
female of Oxythrips quercicola may be found on Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 1-2,4-9,11

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Peniophora polygonia is saprobic on dead wood of Quercus robur

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Periclista albida grazes on leaf of Quercus robur

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Periclista lineolata grazes on leaf of Quercus robur

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Periclista pubescens grazes on leaf of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Pezizella roburnea is saprobic on dead, fallen, locally bleached leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 9-2

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Pezizella rubescens is saprobic on dead, fallen leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 8-12

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phanerochaete velutina is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Quercus robur

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Phellinus torulosus parasitises live trunk (esp. base) of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Phlebia lilascens is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Quercus robur
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
irregular pycnidium of Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Phomopsis quercina is saprobic on dead branch of Quercus robur

Foodplant / parasite
fruitbody of Podoscypha multizonata parasitises live, buried root of Quercus robur
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / miner
larva of Profenusa pygmaea mines leaf (upper superficial layer) of Quercus robur

Foodplant / spot causer
hypophyllous, brown pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria quercicola causes spots on leaf of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
1-3 per spot, very minute, immersed, black pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria quercina is saprobic on fallen leaf of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Steccherinum ochraceum is saprobic on dead, fallen, decayed twig of Quercus robur
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / spinner
caterpillar of Tortrix viridana spins live, spun-together leaf of Quercus robur
Remarks: season: 4-7
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Trechispora stellulata is saprobic on dead, decayed wood of Quercus robur

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious, pustular, erumpent, plurilocular stroma of Cytospora coelomycetous anamorph of Valsa intermedia is saprobic on dead twig (thin) of Quercus robur

Foodplant / hemiparasite
haustorium of Viscum album is hemiparasitic on branch of Quercus robur

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Known predators

  • M. Rejmanek and P. Stary, 1979. Connectance in real biotic communities and critical values for stability of model ecosystems. Nature 280:311-313, from p. 312.
  • R. R. Askew, 1961. On the biology of the inhabitants of oak galls of Cynipidae (Hymenoptera) in Britain. Trans. Soc. Brit. Entomol. 14:237-268, from p. 239.
  • R. R. Askew, 1961. On the biology of the inhabitants of oak galls of Cynipidae (Hymenoptera) in Britain. Trans. Soc. Brit. Entomol. 14:237-268, from p. 240.
  • R. R. Askew, 1961. On the biology of the inhabitants of oak galls of Cynipidae (Hymenoptera) in Britain. Trans. Soc. Brit. Entomol. 14:237-268, from p. 241.
  • R. R. Askew, 1961. On the biology of the inhabitants of oak galls of Cynipidae (Hymenoptera) in Britain. Trans. Soc. Brit. Entomol. 14:237-268, from p. 242.
  • R. R. Askew, 1975. The organisation of chalcid-dominated parasitoid communities centred upon endophytic hosts. In: Evolutionary Strategies of Parasitic Insects and Mites, P. W. Price, Ed. (Plenum Press, New York) pp. 130-153, from p. 132.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring.
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Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: April-May; Fr.Per.: Aug.
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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Buttressing resists uprooting: English oak
 

Roots of broad-based trees with stiff trunks resist uprooting through compressive buttressing.

     
  "While no systematic study has yet been done, at least four distinct schemes seem to be used to keep roots and soil in decent contiguity. Combinations of more than a single scheme certainly occur, and a given tree may use different schemes or a varying mix of several as it grows from a sapling. (Mattheck [1991] considers some aspects of the tree's problem; Ennos and Fitter [1992] provide information on anchorage in small plants or very young trees; Ennos [2000] gives a good general view of the situation.)"

"Consider, first, what we might refer to as 'compressive buttressing,' uprooting most often involves elevation of a large weight of roots and associated soil. Increasing the work necessary to achieve that elevation decreases the chance that a tree will blow over. That can be done by developing a stiff, wide base, and thus moving the pivot point or axis of turning well to one side of the center of the trunk and root mass (fig. 21.3a). The key components, then, are a stiff and massive trunk and a broad, upwardly tapered base that acts primarily as a set of buttresses on the downwind (compression loaded) side, pushing the pivot point laterally and thus increasing the work needed for turning. On the upwind side the broad base will contribute to the weight that the turning tree must lift…Partly burying the broad base improves matters by using the substratum to increase the weight that must be lifted. Soil and stone are conveniently dense material, so for a root-soil plate even a small volume goes a long way. The substratum beneath the tree feels compression, which under most circumstances it will resist well. A stiff trunk will improve the effectiveness of the arrangement by minimizing downwind drift of the center of gravity in the wind, as will minimization of the weight of branches that can shift around. The paradigmatic example of such compressive buttressing might be a large specimen of an oak such as Quercus alba or Q. robur. This scheme may be the most important one for the large angiosperms of temperate North America, and it is certainly not uncommon among gymnosperms that lack vertical tap or striker roots, at least judging from work on Sitka spruce (Coutts 1983; Blackwell, Rennalls, and Coutts 1990)." (Vogel 2003:431-432)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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Functional adaptation

Providing shelter for multiple organisms: English oak
 

A mature oak tree provides shelter for hundreds of moths, birds, and bugs; each part of the tree houses its own inhabitants.

           
  "A mature oak tree, standing a hundred feet tall, provides lodging, and often board as well, for more different kinds of animals than any other European tree. Thirty species of birds, forty-five different bugs and over two hundred species of moth have been collected from oaks. Each part of the tree has its own particular lodgers." (Attenborough 1995:153)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Quercus robur

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Quercus robur

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 31
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2007

Assessor/s
Participants of the FFI/IUCN SSC Central Asian regional tree Red Listing workshop, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (11-13 July 2006)

Reviewer/s
Newton, A. & Eastwood, A. (Global Tree Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
A widespread species with a large extent of occurrence. Population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers). Population trend has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the threshold for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, it is evaluated as Least Concern.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Status

Widespread and common (3).
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Threats

Upland oak woodlands have declined by 30-40% over the last 60 years as a result of re-planting with conifers, conversion to grazing land, overgrazing by sheep and deer, and unsuitable management (8). The decline in the ancient technique of coppicing has resulted in oak woodlands becoming more shaded; acorns do not germinate as well in these conditions. Many oak forests have a skewed age structure, as young trees are not able to regenerate (4). This may cause problems for many of the rare species that are dependent on ancient oaks; as the old trees die there will not be trees in the vicinity of a suitable age, so entire communities are at risk (7).
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Management

Conservation

Upland oak woodland is a priority habitat under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). An action plan has been produced to guide the conservation of this habitat (8). Not only is the English oak of important cultural significance, it is a beautiful, majestic species. Furthermore, the communities of plants, animals and fungi that are associated with oak trees are often unique, and internationally significant. Conserving this 'king of trees' is therefore of utmost importance.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Wikipedia

Quercus robur

Quercus robur is commonly known as the English oak or pedunculate oak or French oak. It is native to most of Europe, and to Anatolia to the Caucasus, and also to parts of North Africa.

Taxonomy[edit]

Ancient pedunculate oaks at Wistman's Wood in Devon, England

Q. robur (Latin quercus, "oak" + robur "strength, hard timber") is the type species of the genus (the species by which the oak genus Quercus is defined), and a member of the white oak section Quercus section Quercus. The populations in Italy, southeast Europe, and Asia Minor and the Caucasus are sometimes treated as separate species, Q. brutia Tenore, Q. pedunculiflora K. Koch and Q. haas Kotschy respectively.

A close relative is the Sessile Oak (Q. petraea), which shares much of its range. Q. robur is distinguished from this species by its leaves having only a very short stalk 3–8 mm (0.12–0.31 in) long, and by its pedunculate (stalked) acorns. The two often hybridise in the wild, the hybrid being known as Quercus × rosacea.

Description[edit]

An old English oak in Baginton, England
Seedling sprouting from its acorn
An oak sprout in a glass container

Quercus robur is a large deciduous tree, with circumference of grand oaks from 4 m (13 ft) to exceptional 12 m (39 ft).[citation needed] The Majesty Oak with a circumference of 12.2 m (40 ft) is the thickest tree in Great Britain,[citation needed] and the Kaive Oak in Latvia with a circumference of 10.2 m (33 ft) is the thickest tree in Northern Europe.[citation needed] Q. 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 their fruit, called acorns, ripen by the following autumn. The acorns are 2–2.5 cm (0.79–0.98 in) long, pedunculate (having a peduncle or acorn-stalk, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long) with one to four acorns on each peduncle.

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. Two individuals of notable longevity are the Stelmužė Oak in Lithuania and the Granit oak in Bulgaria, which are believed to be more than 1,500 years old, possibly making them the oldest oaks in Europe; another specimen, called the 'Kongeegen' ('Kings Oak'), estimated to be about 1,200 years old, grows in Jaegerspris, Denmark.[citation needed] Yet another can be found in Kvilleken, Sweden, that is over 1,000 years old and 14 metres (46 ft) around.[2] 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 old. Also the Bowthorpe Oak in Lincolnshire, England is estimated to be 1,000 years old making it the oldest in the UK, although there is Knightwood Oak in the New Forest which is also said to be as old. Highest density of the grand oak trees Q. robur with a circumference 4 metres (13 ft) and more is in Latvia. [3]

Ecological importance[edit]

bark and wood
The Gyula Juhász memorial tree in Makó
Q. robur 'Concordia'

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[4] of oaks before humans began planting them commercially, because of their habit of taking acorns from the umbra of its parent tree and burying it undamaged elsewhere. Mammals, notably squirrels who tend to hoard acorns and other nuts most often leave them too abused to grow in the action of moving or storing them.

Commercial forestry[edit]

Quercus robur' is planted for forestry, and produces a long-lasting and durable heartwood, much in demand for interior and furniture work. The wood of Q. robur is identified by a close examination of a cross-section perpendicular to fibres. The wood is characterised by its distinct (often wide) dark and light brown growth rings. The earlywood displays a vast number of large vessels (~0.5 mm (0.020 in) diameter). There are rays of thin (~0.1 mm (0.0039 in)) yellow or light brown lines running across the growth rings. The timber is around 720 kg (1,590 lb) per cubic meter in density.[5]

Cultivation[edit]

Quercus robur is cultivated as an ornamental tree in the temperate regions of most continents. A number of cultivars are grown in gardens and parks and in arboreta and botanical gardens. The most common cultivar is Quercus robur 'Fastigiata', and is the exception among Q. robur cultivars which are generally smaller than the standard tree, growing to between 10–15 m and exhibit unusual leaf or crown shape characteristics.

In Australia

English Oak is one of the most common park trees in south-eastern Australia, noted for its vigorous, luxuriant growth. In Australia, it grows very quickly[citation needed] to a tree of 20 m (66 ft) tall by up to 20 m (66 ft) broad, with a low-branching canopy. Its trunk and secondary branches are very thick and solid and covered with deep-fissured blackish-grey bark.[6] The largest example in Australia is in Donnybrook, Western Australia.[7] Native Australian oaks are quite unrelated to the European oaks.

Cultivars[edit]

  • Quercus robur 'Fastigiata' ("Cypress Oak"), probably the most common cultivated form, it grows to a large imposing tree with a narrow columnar habit. The fastigiate oak was originally propagated from an upright tree that was found in central Europe.
  • Quercus robur 'Concordia' ("Golden Oak"), a small very slow-growing tree, eventually reaching 10 m (33 ft), with bright golden-yellow leaves throughout spring and summer. It was originally raised in Van Geert's nursery at Ghent in 1843.
  • Quercus robur 'Pendula' ("Weeping Oak"), a small to medium sized tree with pendulous branches, reaching up to 15 m.
  • Quercus robur 'Purpurea' is another cultivar growing to 10 m (33 ft), but with purple coloured leaves.
  • Quercus robur 'Filicifolia' ("Cut-leaved Oak") is a cultivar where the leaf is pinnately divided into fine forward pointing segments.

Hybrids[edit]

Along with the naturally occurring Q. × rosacea, several hybrids with other white oak species have also been produced in cultivation, including Turner's Oak Q. × turnerii, Heritage Oak Q. × macdanielli, and Two Worlds Oak Q. × bimundorum, the latter two developed by nurseries in the United States.

  • Q. × bimundorum (Q. alba × Q. robur) (Two Worlds Oak)
  • Q. × macdanielli (Q. macrocarpa × Q. robur) (Heritage Oak)
  • Q. × rosacea Bechst. (Q. petraea x Q. robur), a hybrid of the Sessile Oak and English Oak. It is usually of intermediate character between its parents, however it does occasionally exhibit more pronounced characteristics of one or the other parent.
  • Q. × turnerii Willd. (Q. ilex × Q. robur) (Turner's Oak), a semi-evergreen tree of small to medium size with a rounded crown; it was originally raised at Mr. Turner's nursery, Essex, UK, in 1783. An early specimen is at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[8]
  • Q. × warei (Q. robur fastigiata x Q. bicolor), a hybrid between Upright English Oak and the Swamp White Oak. The selections within this hybrid include the (Regal Prince) 'Long'[9] cultivar and the (Kindred Spirit) 'Nadler' cultivar.[10]

Diseases[edit]

Symbolism[edit]

Basque Country[edit]

In the Basque Country (Spain), the oak symbolises the traditional basque liberties. This is based on the 'tree of Gernika', an ancient oak tree located in Gernika, below which since at least the 13th century the Lords of Biscay first, and afterwards their successors the Kings of Castile and the Kings of Spain solemnly swore to uphold the charter of Biscay, which secured widespread rights to the inhabitants of Biscay. Since the 14th century, the Juntas Generales (the parliament of Biscay) gathers in a building next to the oak tree, and symbolically passes its laws under the tree as well. Nowadays, the Lehendakari (Basque prime minister) swears his oath of office under the tree.

Bulgaria[edit]

The national coat of arms of Bulgaria includes two crossed oak branches with fruits - as shield (escutcheon) compartment.

Croatia[edit]

Oak leaves with acorns are depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 5 lipa coin, minted since 1993.[12] The pedunculate oak of the Croatian region of Slavonia (considered a separate subspecies - Slavonian Oak) is a regional symbol of Slavonia and a national symbol of Croatia.[13]

England[edit]

In England, the English oak has assumed the status of a national emblem. This has its origins in the oak tree at Boscobel House, where the future King Charles II hid from his Parliamentarian pursuers in 1650 during the English Civil War; the tree has since been known as the Royal Oak. This event was celebrated nationally on 29 May as Oak Apple Day, which is continued to this day in some communities.[14] ‘The Royal Oak’ is the third most popular pub name in Britain (541 in 2007)[15] and has been the name of eight major Royal Navy warships. The naval associations are strengthened by the fact that oak was the main construction material for sailing warships. The Royal Navy was often described as ‘The Wooden Walls of Old England’[16] (a paraphrase of the Delphic Oracle) and the Navy’s official quick march is ‘Heart of Oak’. Furthermore, the oak is the most common woodland tree in England.[17] An oak tree has been depicted on the reverse of the pound coin (the 1987 and 1992 issues) and a sprig of oak leaves and acorns is the emblem of the National Trust.

Germany[edit]

In Germany, the oak tree is used as a typical object and symbol in romanticism. It can be found in several paintings of Caspar David Friedrich and in "Of the life of a Good-For-Nothing" written by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff as a symbol of the state protecting every man. In those works the oak is shown in different situations, with leaves and flowers or dead without any of its previous beauty. Those conditions are mostly symbols for the conditions Germany is in or going through. Furthermore, the oak's stem is a symbol for Germany's strength and stability. Oak branches were displayed on the reverse of the small coins of the old Deutsche Mark currency (1 through 10 Pfennigs; the 50 Pfennigs coin showed a woman planting an oak seedling), and are now also displayed on the reverse of the small German-issue Euro currency coins (1 through 5 cents).

Ireland[edit]

In Ireland, at Birr Castle, an example, over 400 years old has a girth of 6.5 m. It is known as the Carroll Oak, referring to the local Chieftains, Ely O'Carroll who ruled prior to Norman occupation.[18]

Romania[edit]

The Romanian Rugby Union side are also known as "The Oaks."

Chemistry[edit]

Grandinin/roburin E, castalagin/vescalagin, gallic acid, monogalloyl glucose (glucogallin) and valoneic acid dilactone, monogalloyl glucose, digalloyl glucose, trigalloyl glucose, rhamnose, quercitrin and ellagic acid are phenolic compounds found in Q. robur.[19] The heartwood contains triterpene saponins.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quercus+robur "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  2. ^ http://www5.h.lst.se/lansfakta/natur/u_nm/rumskullaeken.htm
  3. ^ Eniņš, Guntis (2008).100 dižākie un svētākie. AS Lauku Avīze, p. 25. ISBN 978-9984-827-15-5
  4. ^ White, John (1995). Forest and Woodland Trees in Britain. Oxford University Press. p. 131. ISBN 0-19-854883-4. 
  5. ^ British Oak. Niche Timbers. Accessed 19-08-2009.
  6. ^ "Quercus robur". Metrotrees.com.au. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  7. ^ Nina Smith (2009-12-10). "Australia's Biggest Oak Tree". Donnybrookmail.com.au. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Kew: Plants: Turner’s Oak, Quercus x turneri". Rbgkew.org.uk. 1987-10-16. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  9. ^ "Plant of the Month". Buckeyegardening.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  10. ^ "''International Oak Society Link''". Oaknames.org. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  11. ^ "Oak mildew". Forestry Commission. 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  12. ^ Croatian National Bank. Kuna and Lipa, Coins of Croatia: 5 Lipa Coin. – Retrieved on 31 March 2009.
  13. ^ "Croatian National Symbols". www.kwintessential.co.uk/. Retrieved 2013-04-23. 
  14. ^ "Wiltshire - Moonraking - Oak Apple Day". BBC. 1931-05-29. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  15. ^ "Real Ale and Pub News Features Archive". Solihullcamra.org.uk. 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  16. ^ "National Maritime Museum". Nmm.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  17. ^ http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/frnationalinventory0001.pdf/$FILE/frnationalinventory0001.pdf
  18. ^ Fifty Trees of Distinction by Prof. D.A. Webb and the Earl of Ross. Booklet, published by Birr Castle Demesne, 2000.
  19. ^ Analysis of oak tannins by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry. Pirjo Mämmelä, Heikki Savolainenb, Lasse Lindroosa, Juhani Kangasd and Terttu Vartiainen, Journal of Chromatography A, Volume 891, Issue 1, 1 September 2000, Pages 75-83, doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(00)00624-5
  20. ^ Identification of triterpene saponins in Quercus robur L. and Q. petraea Liebl. Heartwood by LC-ESI/MS and NMR. Arramon G, Saucier C, Colombani D and Glories Y, Phytochem Anal., November-DEcember 2002, volume 13, issue 6, pages 305-310, PubMed
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Quercus robur is one of the oaks most commonly cultivated in temperate and subtropical parts of the world. In North America it is most commonly seen in the eastern and northwestern parts of the United States and and in southeastern and southwestern Canada, where it tolerates a wide array of conditions and is extremely hardy. In Washington, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, apparently reproducing populations persist in the wild. Elsewhere, although actual naturalization appears to be rare, Q . robur should be expected to persist around old homesites and other places of cultivation. 

 Quercus robur most closely resembles our native species Q . alba in leaf form. In contrast with Q . alba , which has relatively long petioles (longer than 10 mm), acute leaf bases, and subsessile fruit (rarely on peduncles to 25 mm), Q . robur is easily distinguished by its shorter petioles (less than 10 mm), cordate, almost clasping, leaf bases, and fruit on long (more than 35 mm), thin peduncles.

Quercus robur is one of the oaks most widely celebrated in literature; it has wood of exceptionally high quality for the manufacture of furniture, and it previously was the most important wood used in the manufacture of wooden sailing vessels in Europe.

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The ‘English Oak’ is occasionally cultivated here at hill stations up to 2200 m. It grows well in areas of light snowfall. A variable tree as regards the size, shape and the degree of incision of the leaves. The tannin in the bark is used in leather industry. The wood is used for construction.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Quercus robur is a an introduced oak species to North America and is widely planted. There are a few instances where this species has spread outside of cultivation including British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Soctia and Prince Edward Islands (Flora North America vol. 3).

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