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Fox Hagg Oak

English Oak

Quercus robur

Key Facts

  • Height: 15-25m

The English Oak is, perhaps, our most iconic tree: the one that almost every child and adult alike could draw the leaf of, or describe the fruits of.

Also known as the ‘Pedunculate Oak’ because its acorns grow on stalks or ‘peduncles’, the English Oak is a common timber tree, its wood once highly prized for building ships and houses, and making furniture. Its autumnal acorns are also highly prized by both people and wildlife – the former use them for fodder for pigs and the latter often store them for the long winter ahead.

How to Identify

Oaks are our most familiar tree, easily recognised by their lobed leaf shape and tell-tale acorns. The English Oak can be distinguished from the Sessile Oak by its broader shape and by the presence of stalks on its acorns.

Where to find

The common woodland tree across the south and east.

How people can help

Our native tree species, such as English Oak, provide important links in the food chain for many animals, as well as areas for shelter and nesting. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species throughout the food chain, so look after many nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from coppicing to craft-making, stockwatching to surveying.

Did you know?

English Oaks can grow to very old ages, living well over 500 years, especially if they are pollarded. One of the most famous old English Oaks in the country is the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest – thought to be over 800 years old, it was believed to have been standing when the legendary Robin Hood was outlawed in the forest. Local folklore suggests he used it as a hideout, but it would only have been a sapling in the 12th century…

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