Botanical Name: Quercus robur
Common Name: English Oak
Origin: Europe/SW. Asia
Notable Feature: Most recognizable characteristic is the shape of its leaves. Dark green in color, they have four or five blunt lobes on each side and are attached to the branches with almost no stalk. In contrast, the acorns are borne on long stalks known as peduncles, hence another common name ‘Pedunculate Oak’.
Habit: A long-lived, large, deciduous tree that can reach 40 to 70 feet, occasionally to over 100 feet tall. Trunks are typically short and thick and the crown is wide spreading filled with rugged branches.
Flowers: Small and yellowish green. Monoecious (male and female flowers are borne separately on the same tree). Male flowers in pendulous catkins; female flowers in erect, 2 to 4-flowered catkins. Wind-pollinated and appear in spring as the leaves emerge.
Fruit: Narrow-oval, 1-inch long acorns borne singly or in clusters on long 1 to 3” stalks (peduncles). Acorn caps extend to approximately 1/3 the acorn length. Matures in one season.
Foliage: Variable in shape and short-stalked. Dark green leaves (3 to 5” long) with 4 to 5 blunt lobes per side are blue-green beneath. Fall color is insignificant. Small earlobe like lobes at the leaf bases distinguishes this species from the similar American species, Quercus alba, white oak.
Bark: Gray-brown becoming deeply fissured and furrowed with age.
Interesting Fact: 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.