Quercus petraea

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Quercus petraea
Quercus petraea 06.jpg
A mature tree
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Q. sect. Quercus
Species: Q. petraea
Binomial name
Quercus petraea
(Matt.) Liebl.[2]
Quercus petraea range.svg
Distribution map
Synonyms[2]
Shoot with leaves and acorn
An inosculated tree

Quercus petraea, commonly known as the sessile oak,[3] Cornish oak,[4] or durmast oak,[5] is a species of oak tree native to most of Europe and into Anatolia and Iran.

The sessile oak is the national tree of the Republic of Ireland[6], and an unofficial emblem in Wales[7] and Cornwall.[8][9]

Description[edit]

The sessile oak is a large deciduous tree up to 20–40 m (66–131 ft) tall, in the white oak section of the genus (Quercus sect. Quercus) and similar to the pedunculate oak, Q. robur, with which it overlaps extensively in range. The leaves are 7–14 cm (2.8–5.5 in) long and 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) broad, evenly lobed with five to six lobes on each side, and a 1-centimetre-long (0.39 in) petiole. The flowers are catkins, produced in the spring. The fruit is an acorn 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) long and 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) broad, which matures in about six months.

Comparison with pedunculate oak[edit]

Significant botanical differences from pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) include the stalked leaves, and the stalkless (sessile) acorns from which one of its common names is derived. It occurs in upland areas over 300 m (984 ft) with higher rainfall and shallow, acidic, sandy soils. Its specific epithet petraea means "of rocky places".[10] Quercus robur, on the other hand, prefers deeper, richer soils at lower altitude. Fertile hybrids with Quercus robur named Quercus × rosacea are found wherever the two parent species occur and share or are intermediate in characters between the parents.

Charles Darwin, in Chapter II of The Origin of Species, noted that the sessile and pedunculate oaks had been described as both distinct species and mere varieties depending on the authority consulted.

Uses[edit]

Sessile oak is one of the most important species in Europe both economically and ecologically. Oak timber is traditionally used for building, ships and furniture. Today the best woods are used for quality cabinetmaking, veneers and barrel staves. Rougher material is used for fencing, roof beams and specialist building work. It is also a good fuel wood. During autumns with good acorn crops (the mast years) animals are traditionally grazed under the trees to fatten them.[11]

In cultivation, this tree has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[12]

Pontfadog Oak[edit]

What was considered to be the oldest oak tree in the UK was a sessile oak, the Pontfadog Oak. This grew near Chirk in North Wales. It was understood to be over 1,200 years old, an age that was due to regular pollarding for much of its life. The hollow trunk had a girth of 12.9 metres (42 ft 5 in). It was lost in April 2013 when it blew down in high winds.[13]

Diseases and pests[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gorener, V.; Khela, S.; Barstow, M. (2017). "Quercus petraea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2017: e.T62539A3116237. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T62539A3116237.en. Retrieved 19 July 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Quercus petraea". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 14 Sep 2016 – via The Plant List. 
  3. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 14 Sep 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sessile oak". ARKive.org. 
  5. ^ "Quercus petraea". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 14 Sep 2016. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Alan (1974). "Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Northern Europe (Collins Field Guide)", HarperCollins Distribution Services, New York. ISBN 0002120356.
  7. ^ "Tree trail with worldwide flavour", BBC News, 23 July 2004
  8. ^ Minahan, James (2009). The complete guide to national symbols and emblems. 1. Greenwood. ISBN 0313344965. 
  9. ^ West Briton, September 01, 2011, Will native trees thrive in the future? Archived June 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  11. ^ Ducousso, A. & Bordacs, S. (2004), Pedunculate and sessile oaks - Quercus robur/Quercus petraea: Technical guidelines for genetic conservation and use (PDF), European Forest Genetic Resources Programme, p. 6 
  12. ^ Royal Horticultural Society
  13. ^ "Pontfadog Oak: 1,200-year-old tree toppled by winds". BBC News Online. 18 April 2013. 
  14. ^ Bullock, J.A. 1992. Host Plants of British Beetles: A List of Recorded Associations - Amateur Entomologists' Society (AES) publication volume 11a: A supplement to A Coleopterist's Handbook.