English Oak

©Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION

English Oak

©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

English Oak

©Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION

English oak

+ -
Scientific name: Quercus robur
The English oak is, perhaps, our most iconic tree: the one that almost every child and adult alike could draw the lobed leaf of, or describe the acorn fruits of. A widespread tree, it is prized for its wood.

Top facts


Height: 20-40m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Also known as the 'Pedunculate oak' because its acorns grow on stalks or 'peduncles', the English oak is a common tree. It displays a broad, spreading crown above thick branches and a trunk that becomes fissured with age. Its autumnal acorns are 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.
Its wood was traditionally used for building ships and houses, and making furniture.

What to look for

Oaks are our most familiar trees, easily recognised by their lobed leaf shape and tell-tale acorns. The English oak is broader than the Sessile oak, and carries its acorns on stalks.

Where to find


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 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!