T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Quercus robur (English oak)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species: Q. robur
Binomial name: Quercus robur
Synonym: Quercus pedunculata
Common names: English oak, Pedunculate oak, French oak, 

Quercus robur is a long-lived large deciduous deep-rooted tree, with a large wide spreading crown of rugged branches. It is native to most of Europe and to Anatolia to the Caucasus, and also to parts of North Africa.
Quercus robur has dark green nearly sessile (very short-stalked) alternate leaves (7–14 cm long) which have large deep lobes and smooth edges. There are two tiny lobes where the leaf joins the stalk. In autumn the leaves become an orangey-brown in colour.
Flowering (catkins) takes place in mid spring, and their fruit, called acorns, ripen by the following autumn. The acorns are 2–2.5 cm long, pedunculate (having a peduncle or acorn-stalk, 3–7 cm long) with one to four acorns on each peduncle. Mature trees have a rough, hard, deeply fissured bark.
In Europe Quercus robur' is planted for forestry, and produces a long-lasting and durable heartwood, much in demand for interior and furniture work.

Quercus roburt has several cultivars.

Quercus robur 'Fastigiata' ("Cypress Oak"), probably the most common cultivated form, it grows to a large imposing tree with a narrow columnar habit. The Fastigiata 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, with bright golden-yellow leaves throughout spring and summer.

Quercus robur 'Pendula' ("Weeping Oak"), a small to medium sized tree with pendulous branches, reaching up to 15 m.
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Quercus robur 'Purpurea' is another cultivar growing to 10 m, but with purple coloured leaves.

104 year old tree, Greytown, NZ


Autumn leaves June.
 

Trunk of a mature tree.
 

Top surface of a leaf.
 

The under surface of a leaf.