“Common Oak” / “English Oak”
Large, wide and rounded canopy which is variable in form but always majestic.
Shallowly lobed and ear-shaped at the base.
12m high x 8m wide after 25 years. Ultimately a large tree.
One of our two native oaks and by far the most numerous, one cannot help but be in awe of these long-lived giants of our countryside. It is fairly slow growing, but time is on its side as they live for many hundreds of years. It develops a large, broad canopy of rugged branches when growing in an open situation.
There is hardly any leaf stalk and the leaf itself is lobed, Lincoln green in colour turning lovely subtle hues of oranges and browns in the autumn. They hold both male and female flowers with the drooping, delicate male catkins forming at the same time as the leaves in spring. These are followed by the fruits- acorns – on stalks; sometimes more than one acorn per stalk.
Being a large, broad and long-lived tree, each one is hugely important if for no other reason than it supports such a myriad life. This it achieves as well as all the other benefits of large canopied trees – cooling effect, slowing down water events, carbon intake and oxygen producing.
Such is its importance that it cannot be stressed enough that these trees should be more widely planted.