Also known as common oak or pedunculate oak, English oaks are one of our best-loved trees but do not produce acorns until they are around 40 years old. English Oaks have been considered sacred by just about every culture that has encountered the tree, but it was held in particular esteem by the Norse and Celts because of its size, longevity, and nutritious acorns. Today the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest is thought to be the UK’s largest oak tree. It is believed to be 800-1000 years old and according to legend, it was Robin Hood and his Merry Men’s shelter. It is the English oak leaf that is used within logo of the Woodland Trust.
Estimate full grown height: 20 - 40 metres, but can be controlled by pruning. English oak trees grow an estimated 50cm each year.
Value to wildlife: The flower and leaf buds of English oak are the food plants of the caterpillar of purple hairstreak butterflies. In autumn, the soft fallen leaves break down to form a rich leaf mould that supports various invertebrates and fungi including stag beetle and oakbug milkcap fungus. Holes and crevices in the bark provide nesting spots for pied flycatcher and marsh tit. Several bat species may also roost in the tree and feed on its rich supply of insects.
Preferred soil type or environmental conditions: Tolerates most well-drained soils. Avoid waterlogged sites.
UK sourced and grown: Every sapling that we provide is UK sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. Seeds are collected and stored in the UK, and they are all coded and batched so that we can track each individual tree.
Learn more about this species on our English oak profile.