English Oak Trees
Quercus robur, is an enormously strong tree with spreading branches; old oaks are often a bit wider than they are tall. It has distinctive, deep green lobed leaves and short strings of light green, wind-pollinated flowers in spring that ripen into acorns. The bark of mature trees is deeply ridged and provides a home or place to lay eggs for many insects. The acorns are eaten by all sorts of animals; pigs love them.It is probably the single best tree for supporting wildlife, playing host to over 400 insect species and attracting jays. Oak will grow in most soils and tolerates a bit of damp. Young oak trees are shade tolerant and can take their time growing up into the sunlight. English Oak trees can reach a height of about 25 metres.
General description of Common Oak trees:
Botanical names: Quercus robur, Quercus pedunculata
Common Names: British Oak, English Oak, Common Oak, Pedunculate Oak
History & uses of Quercus robur
Today, Oak is mostly used for furniture. In the past, it was an extremely valuable tree. Its acorns were used to give livestock a good, fatty feed before winter and the bark was used in the leather tanning process. The wood makes good charcoal and firewood. Quality oak timber was regarded as the finest material for building ships. Oak trees can live for over 1,000 years, but these ancient specimens were usually coppiced for timber at some point in their past, which is known to extend the life of a tree. Britain's oldest oak is the Bowthorpe Oak, which is thought to be a touch over 1,000 years old. Common Oak is the English national tree.
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the standard trees we sell are graded their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which for the same variety can vary widely depending on growing conditions. So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres. Quercus robur standards are therefore between 2.5 - 4 metres tall (on average) when they are lifted.