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
Caucasus . The tree is widely cultivated in temperate regions and
has escaped into the wild in scattered parts of China and North
* 1 Taxonomy
* 2 Description
* 3 Ecological importance
* 4 Commercial forestry
* 5 Cultivation
* 5.1 Cultivars
* 5.2 Hybrids
* 5.3 Diseases
* 6 Symbolism
* 6.1 Basque Country
* 6.6 Ireland
* 6.7 Romania
* 7 Chemistry
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 External links
Ancient pedunculate oaks at Wistman\'s Wood in Devon,
Quercus 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
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.
Q. robur should not be confused with Q. rubra, the red oak , which is
a native of North America and only distantly related.
An old English oak in
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). The Majesty Oak
with a circumference of 12.2 m (40 ft) is the thickest tree in Great
Britain , and the Kaive
Latvia with a circumference of 10.2 m
(33 ft) is the thickest tree in Northern
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 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
Q. robur is very tolerant to soil conditions and the continental
climate but it prefers fertile and well-watered soils. Mature trees
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
Lithuania and the Granit
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
. Yet another can be found in Kvilleken ,
Sweden , that is over 1,000
years old and 14 metres (46 ft) around. Of maiden (not pollarded)
specimens, one of the oldest is the great oak of
Tree-ring research of this tree and other oaks nearby gives an
estimated age of 700 to 800 years. Also the Bowthorpe
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
Q. robur with a circumference 4 metres (13 ft) and more is
bark and wood
Quercus robur -
MHNT The Gyula
Juhász memorial tree in
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 of oaks before humans began planting them
commercially, because of their habit of taking acorns from the umbra
of its parent tree and burying them undamaged elsewhere. Mammals,
notably squirrels who tend to hoard acorns and other nuts usually
leave them too abused to grow in the action of moving or storing them.
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.
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 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. The largest example in
Australia is in Donnybrook
Australia . Native Australian oaks are quite unrelated to
the European oaks.
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.
Along with the naturally occurring Q. × rosacea, several hybrids
with other white oak species have also been produced in cultivation,
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 .
* Q. × warei (
Q. robur fastigiata x Q. bicolor ), a hybrid between
Oak and the swamp white oak. The selections within
this hybrid include the (Regal Prince) 'Long' cultivar and the
(Kindred Spirit) 'Nadler' cultivar.
Acute oak decline
Powdery mildew caused by
Sudden oak death
In the Basque Country (Spain and France) 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
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.
Lehendakari (Basque prime minister) swears his oath of
office under the tree.
The national coat of arms of
Bulgaria includes two crossed oak
branches with fruits - as shield (escutcheon ) compartment .
Oak leaves with acorns are depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 5
lipa coin, minted since 1993. The pedunculate oak of the Croatian
Slavonia (considered a separate subspecies - Slavonian oak)
is a regional symbol of
Slavonia and a national symbol of
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
English Civil War ; the tree has since been known as
Oak . This event was celebrated nationally on 29 May as Oak
Apple Day , which is continued to this day in some communities.
‘The Royal Oak’ is the third most popular pub name in Britain (541
in 2007) 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’ (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. 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 .
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
Euro currency coins (1 through 5 cents).
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.
Rugby Union side are also known as The Oaks.
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. The heartwood contains triterpene saponins .
* Trees portal
Oak marble gall
Wikimedia Commons has media related to QUERCUS ROBUR .
Wikispecies has information related to: QUERCUS ROBUR
* ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
* ^ Flora of North America,
Quercus robur Linnaeus, 1753. English
oak, pedunculate oak, chêne pédoncule
* ^ Flora of China,
Quercus robur Linnaeus, 1753. 夏栎 xia li
* ^ Ducousso, A. ">(PDF), European Forest Genetic Resources
Programme , p. 6 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link )
* ^ Moström, Jerker (May 2006). "The
Oak Tree, from Peasant
Torment to a Unifying Concept of Landscape Management" (PDF). The Oak
– History, Ecology Management and Planning. Linköping, Sweden:
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* ^ Eniņš, Guntis (2008). 100 dižākie un svētākie, AS Lauku
Avīze, p. 25. ISBN 978-9984-827-15-5
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* ^ British Oak. Niche Timbers. Accessed 19-08-2009.
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* ^ Nina Smith (2009-12-10). "Australia\'s Biggest
Donnybrookmail.com.au. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
* ^ "Kew: Plants: Turner’s Oak, Quercus x turneri".
Rbgkew.org.uk. 1987-10-16. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
* ^ "Plant of the Month". Buckeyegardening.com. Retrieved
* ^ "\'\'International
Oak Society Link\'\'". Oaknames.org.
* ^ "
Forestry Commission . 2013. Retrieved 13 April
* ^ Croatian National Bank Archived 6 May 2009 at the Wayback
Machine .. Kuna and Lipa, Coins of
Croatia Archived 22 June 2009 at
Wayback Machine .: 5 Lipa Coin Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback
Machine .. – Retrieved on 31 March 2009.
* ^ "Croatian National Symbols". www.kwintessential.co.uk/.
* ^ "Wiltshire - Moonraking -
Oak Apple Day". BBC. 1931-05-29.
* ^ "Real Ale and Pub News Features Archive". Solihullcamra.org.uk.
2007-11-15. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
* ^ "National Maritime Museum". Nmm.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
* ^ Smith, Steve. "The National Inventory of Woodland and Trees -
England" (PDF). UK:
Forestry Commission. Table 1. p. 52.
* ^ Fifty Trees of Distinction by Prof. D.A. Webb and the Earl of
Ross. Booklet, published by
Birr Castle Demesne, 2000.
* ^ 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,
* ^ 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, PMID 12494747
* Flora Europaea: Quercus robur
* Bean, W. J. (1976). Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles
8th ed., revised. John Murray.
* Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. HarperCollins
ISBN 0-00-220013-9 .
* (in French) Chênes: Quercus robur
* Oaks from Bialowieza Forest in Poland (biggest