Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Gerald L. Klingaman
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
A ruggedly handsome tree, the English oak has strong branches on its rounded canopy, with classic lobed leaves and oval acorns. A deciduous tree native to Europe and western Asia, it has bark that is ridged and furrowed, rich brown to gray-black in color. The wavy-edged leaves are oblong with very short stems with few to many lobes. They are glossy green to nearly deep bluish green with a lighter green underside, first emerging very downy in the late spring. As the leave emerge, the pendent male flower spikes, called catkins, line the ends of branches. Soon after the pollen shedding ends, the small rounded female blossoms open at the bases of new leaves on new twig growth. Once pollinated, the female flowers develop into oblong oval fruits called acorns, singly or in clusters up to five. The leaves in autumn are held quite late on the branches, and rarely create any display of impressive color. Large birds, such as ducks, crows and quail, will use the acorns as food, as well as many rodents and small mammals.
Plant English oak in a moist, well-draining soil that is quite fertile for most robust growth. Amazingly, this species is very tolerant of both dry and very alkaline soils, too. It is far too large of a tree for use in small spaces, and is best suited for large lawns or meadows. For smaller landscapes, consider the narrow, upright natural form fastigiata and cultivars ‘Skyrocket’, ‘Attention’ and ‘Rose Hill’. Various colored foliage selections include the purple-leaved ‘Atropurpurea’, yellowed ‘Concordia’ or the white-edged leaves of ‘Variegata’. In severe winters there is often significant twig dieback and mildew frequently affects the foliage during the growing season in regions with warm, humid summers.
8 - 3
3 - 8
A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Full Sun, Partial Sun
50'-120' / 15.2m - 36.6m
60'-80' / 18.3m - 24.4m
Spring, Late Spring
Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, Russia/Siberia, Northern Africa, Western Asia
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall
Red, Light Green
Green, Light Green
Feature Plant, Shade Trees
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