acorns Seed English Oak
English Oak, Quercus robur, tree Seeds (Acorns)
Hardy, Adaptable, Wildlife Food/Shelter, Shade Tree, Long Lived, Cold, Drought, Urban and Salt Tolerant
English Oak is a long-lived, majestic, deciduous oak of the white oak group that typically grows in cultivation to 40 to 70 feet tall with a broad spreading, rounded crown. Trunks are typically short, with ridged and furrowed dark gray to black bark. Insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring as the leaves emerge. Fruits are oval acorns to 1 inch long on 1 to 3 inch stalks. Acorn caps extend approximately 1/3 the acorn length. Short-stalked, dark green leaves 3 to 5 inches long) with 3 to 7 blunt lobes per side are blue-green beneath. Small auriculate lobes at the leaf bases distinguish this species from the similar American species of White Oak (Quercus alba). Leaves are variable in shape. No fall color.
English Oak has long been an important timber source in England. Robur comes from the Latin word meaning robust in reference to the strength and durability of the tree. Although native to mixed woodland areas from the British Isles to the Caucasus, English Oak has been widely planted in North America since the 1600s.
Oaks are the most important and most widespread hardwood trees in the northern temperate zone. There are about 500 species of oaks occurring mainly in north temperate parts of the world, but also at high elevations in the tropics. There are about 70 species in the U.S., of which ten grow as shrubs, not trees.
The oaks can be divided into two major groups: members of the white oak group have rounded leaf lobes and tips, and edible acorns that mature in one year; members of the red oak group have bristles on the leaf lobes and tips and bitter acorns that take two years to mature. English Oak is in the white oak group.
The acorns of Oak trees are a very important wildlife food, and many species depend upon them for winter survival. Populations of deer, squirrels, bears, turkeys, wood duck and many more animals increase and decrease with the annual (and variable) acorn crop.