How far north do live oak trees grow

Live Oak | Home & Garden Information Center

Live oak (Quercus virginiana) is one of the most well-known trees found in Southern landscapes. While it is adaptable to all regions of South Carolina, it reaches its full development only within the warm, humid environment of its natural range (USDA Zones 8-10). Live oak can tolerate cold extremes in the Piedmont but not in the mountains where it grows slowly and commonly suffers from ice storm damage.

Live oaks (Quercus virginiana) are some of the most recognized native trees in South Carolina.
Karen Russ, ©HGIC, Clemson Extension

Mature Height/Spread

Live oak is a massive, picturesque, and wide-spreading evergreen tree with large, horizontal, and arching branches that give this oak its unique shape and distinction. In an open landscape, they may reach approximately 40 to 80 feet tall and 60 to 100 feet wide. However, in the forest, it stands more erect, growing to 100 feet tall.

Growth Rate

This tree grows moderately fast in youth, and if properly located and maintained, may produce 2 to 2½ feet of growth per year. Trees grown outside the coastal region will grow more slowly. The growth rate also slows with age. As one of the longest-lived oaks, some live oaks may live 200 to 300 years.

Ornamental Features

The live oak is probably best known for its massive horizontal limbs that give older trees their majestic appearance. The trunk can grow to more than six feet in diameter. Live oak leaves remain on the tree through the winter, then yellow and drop as new leaves expand in the spring. However, trees growing further inland become semi-evergreen and lose some of their leaves during fall and winter. The waxy leaves are resistant to salt spray.

The waxy leaves of Live oak (Quercus virginiana) are resistant to salt spray. Live oak acorns are brown to black when ripe.
Lindsay Caesar, Horticulture Department, Clemson University

The small (1 inch) acorns, produced in clusters of one to five, are dark brown to black when ripe, and are a primary food for many wildlife species along the coast.


Live oak is susceptible to leaf blister, a fungal gall that disfigures leaves and may cause some leaf drop, but does no appreciable harm. Rake up and dispose of or burn dropped foliage to reduce the severity of this disease the following year. Several insect galls may become a minor problem, but control measures are generally not required for leaf insect galls. Oak wilt is a serious fungal disease that can kill infected oak trees within a year or two. This disease occurs in only six counties in South Carolina: Chesterfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Darlington, and Barnwell. Fortunately, there have been no documented cases of oak wilt on live oak, probably because the vast majority of live oaks are in the coastal counties. For more information on problems of oak, refer to HGIC 2006, Oak Diseases & Insect Pests.

When grown in the South Carolina Piedmont, outside of their natural range, live oaks may be either injured or killed by cold temperatures. For this region, select cold-tolerant cultivars or seed-propagated live oaks with proven cold hardiness.

Note: Chemical control of diseases and insects on large trees is usually not feasible since adequate foliage coverage with a pesticide cannot be achieved.

Landscape Use

Live oaks are reminiscent of the Old South, especially when planted along avenues or drives leading to old plantations. Although used extensively for street tree plantings, in time, the roots will lift sidewalks or streets if planted too close. Live oak does well as a lawn specimen when provided plenty of space to grow.

Mature Live Oaks (Quercus virginiana) are often decorated by nature with resurrection ferns and Spanish moss.
Joey Williamson, ©2015 HGIC, Clemson Extension

Although grown best in well-drained, sandy soils with plenty of moisture, it tolerates drier, more compacted soils. Once established, live oak is drought-resistant. It prefers full sun but tolerates more shade than other oaks because its leaves function throughout winter.

Pruning is only necessary to develop a strong branch structure early in the life of the tree. Train trees to grow a central leader by eliminating young multiple trunks and branches. Prune in mid-to-late summer to avoid oak wilt disease.

Cultivars & Varieties

Highrise®This was the first patented cultivar of live oak. It was discovered growing as a seedling in Orangeburg, SC. It has a uniform, upright pyramidal growth habit with a mature height and spread of 30 to 40 feet by 12 to 18 feet, respectively.

Cathedral OakThis cultivar has a pyramidal canopy when young that becomes broad to ovoid as it matures. It is expected to have a mature height and spread of 40 to 80 feet by 60 to 120 feet, respectively.

Millennium Oak®This cultivar has the traditional, picturesque growth of live oak and has a predictable growth rate and habit. Expect a mature height of 50 to 75 feet and a spread of 60 to 100 feet.

Originally published 05/99

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.

Oak - Live

Quercus virginiana
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-10

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Live Oaks are large, strong, and stately evergreens that have become a staple of the American South. This fast-growing oak can reach a height of 40-80 feet with a spread between 60-100 feet. With its height and spread, live oaks make for great shade trees. While the Live Oak is very adaptable, it does require a large area for its spreading trunk to be accommodated. With enough room to grow, however, Live Oaks give one's yard a sense of establishment and history. The wood of the Live Oak is hard, tough, and strong, and the tree also produces sweet, edible acorns. It is hardy to about 5 degrees (Zones 7-10). Live Oaks can survive for centuries and planting one is a small task that can leave a large gift for future generations.

USDA ZONES: Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10


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How to Plant

STEP 1) First, decide on a planting location. Consider carefully what kind of sun, soil, and growing-space your tree or shrub will need.
STEP 2) Once you've located the perfect spot, the hole you are digging must be at least double the width and as deep as the root system you are planting.
STEP 3) Remove the plant from the pot and place the root ball in the hole. The top of the root system should be level with the ground. Before placing the tree or shrub in the hole, use your hands to gently break up the root system.
STEP 4) Once the plant is in place, backfill the hole with native soil and any leftover potting material.
STEP 5) Pack down the soil to eliminate any air pockets.
STEP 6) When finished, water thoroughly.

Care Guide

Plant oaks in an area where they have plenty of room to grow to their full size. Once established, oaks need very little maintenance. Since they are drought tolerant, they rarely need extra watering. They also rarely need pruning. If there are dead limbs, however, prune in winter.

More Details Right

Oak - a symbol of power and longevity. Cultivation, reproduction. Diseases and pests. Oak bark application, decoction. Kinds. Photo - Botanichka

There are several interesting facts about oak: At the Paris exhibition in 1900, an oak ridge sawn from a 485-year-old oak 31 m high and 169 cm in diameter was shown. that is, on the territory of the modern Shumerlinsky forestry enterprise of the Chuvash Republic.

And in 1861, in the Yadrinsky district of the Kazan province, an oak “50 feet long” (that is, 15 m high) and “48 inches in the upper cut” (213 cm in diameter) was cut down. This tree was counted 500 years old, at that time it was completely fresh, healthy and still growing in volume ...

Oak was a sacred tree of many peoples, including the ancient Slavs and Celts, it was worshiped as a deity. Even today it remains a symbol of courage and resilience, and not just, so to speak, “impenetrability” ... By the way, to see an oak strewn with acorns in a dream - to well-being and career growth.

Pedunculate oak (summer, English, common) (Quercus robur). © Leafland

Botanical description

Oak ( Quercus ) is a genus of deciduous or evergreen trees of the beech family. The leaves are alternate, simple, pinnatipartite, lobed, serrated, sometimes entire. Oak flowers are small, inconspicuous, same-sex, monoecious; staminate - in long hanging catkins, pistillate - single or several, sessile or on a pedicel. The fruit is a single-seeded acorn, partially enclosed in a cup-shaped woody cupule.

Oak grows slowly, at first (up to 80 years) - stronger in height, later - in thickness. Usually forms a deep tap root system. Gives abundant shoots from the stump. Photophilous. Some types of oak are drought-resistant, quite winter-hardy and not very demanding on soils. It begins to bear fruit at the age of 15-60, in open places earlier than in plantations. It reproduces mainly by acorns. For sowing, acorns collected in the same year are used, because. they quickly lose their viability. There are about 450 species of oak in the temperate, subtropical and tropical zones of the Northern Hemisphere. In Russia - 20 (according to other sources, 11) wild species in the European part, the Far East and the Caucasus; 43 species of oaks are grown in culture.

Most important in forestry is English oak , or summer ( Quercus robur ), - a tree up to 40-50 m high and 1-1.5 m in diameter. The leaves are elongated obovate, with 5-7 pairs of short lobes , on petioles up to 1 cm long. Acorns 1-3 on the stalk. Blossoms simultaneously with the blooming of leaves from 40-60 years. Fruits abundantly every 4-8 years. Grows fairly quickly in side shade, but requires good light from above. Lives up to 400-1000 years. Distributed in the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus and almost throughout Western Europe. In the northern part of the range it grows along river valleys, to the south it goes to watersheds and forms mixed forests with spruce, and in the south of the range - pure oak forests; in the steppe zone it occurs along ravines and gullies. One of the main forest-forming species of broad-leaved forests in Russia.

Close to English Oak Rock Oak , or winter ( Q. petraea ), with almost sessile (2-3 each) acorns, found in the west of the European part of Russia, in the Crimea and the North Caucasus. Georgian Oak ( Q. iberica ) grows in the eastern part of the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia with leathery leaves and sessile (1-2) acorns; Large Anthered Oak ( Quercus macranthera ) with densely pubescent shoots and sessile acorns or on a short stem grows in the high-mountain zone of these regions. The main species of the valley forests of Eastern Transcaucasia - Cork oak - Q. suber) gives a cork. The bark and wood contain tannins (tannins) used for tanning hides. The dried bark of young branches and thin trunks of English oak is used as an astringent in the form of an aqueous decoction for rinsing in case of inflammatory processes in the oral cavity, pharynx, pharynx, as well as for lotions in the treatment of burns. Acorns are used as a substitute for coffee and as food for pigs and some other agricultural products. animals. Many species, such as Chestnut oak (Q. castaneifolia), are cultivated in gardens and parks as ornamental plants.

Growing oak

Oak acorns, unlike the seeds of the vast majority of our other trees, do not retain their germination capacity when dried and stored for a long time at room temperature. Therefore, it is necessary either to sow them in the fall before the snow falls and the soil freezes, or to provide them with special storage conditions. Autumn sowing is the easiest, but there is a serious risk of damage to some of the acorns by rodents.

For spring sowing oak acorns must be properly preserved. The best storage conditions are at low (about 0° or slightly above) temperature, high humidity and moderate ventilation. Acorns can be stored in the basement, where potatoes are well preserved in winter; you can also dig them into the soil in the fall to a depth of at least 20 cm, covering the top with a sheet of waterproof material, leaving a layer of air between this sheet and acorns and providing protection from mice. In any case, healthy acorns without external damage should be stored for winter storage, preferably collected in dry weather and dried at room temperature for a week. Any special preparation of seeds that have survived the winter is not required before sowing.

Before sowing, evaluate the quality of the acorns by opening a few of them. Live oak acorns have yellow cotyledons, and at the place of their connection with each other there is a live (yellow or red-yellow) embryo. Dead acorns are black or grey. By external signs, it is not always possible to distinguish living acorns from dead ones. Soaking acorns in a container of water gives good results - dead acorns mostly float, live ones mostly sink (if there are a lot of acorns, then this method of separating the dead from the living is quite recommended, but a small part of the live acorns will be lost).

If you have not been able to stock up on acorns since autumn, then in some years (after a large harvest of acorns and under the condition of a "failure" of mice, and if the winter was not very frosty) you can collect live and germinating acorns in the spring in the nearest forest or park. It is necessary to collect germinating acorns in early spring, almost immediately after the snow melts, otherwise you will find damaged roots in many acorns. Collected oak acorns must either be sown immediately or stored until sowing in such a way that the roots do not dry out (for example, mixed with wet leaves in a plastic box put in a refrigerator or a cold basement). Even with short-term storage, it is necessary to ensure that germinating acorns do not become moldy (throw away damaged ones immediately), and ensure their ventilation. The faster you can sow the acorns collected in the spring, the more of them will be able to develop into seedlings.

Oak acorns. © TwidOak sprouted acorn. © Beentree

Sowing acorns

When sowing acorns, mark out parallel furrows 15–25 cm apart in the bed. Arrange the acorns in the furrows at the rate of 15-50 pieces. per 1 m of the length of the furrow, depending on the quality and size (if the acorns are large and almost all live, then they should be laid out less often, if small and with a large proportion of dead and doubtful - thicker). If you plan to plant annual oak seedlings in a permanent place, then acorns should be sown even less often - at a distance of 7-10 cm from each other (this will ensure the maximum growth of each tree). Press the acorns into the bottom of the furrow so that they are at a depth of 2–3 cm from the soil surface in spring planting and 3–6 cm in autumn. After that, level the furrow by covering the acorns with earth.

Acorns germinate for a very long time. First, they develop a powerful root, reaching a length of several tens of centimeters, and only after that the stem begins to grow. Therefore, oak sprouts can appear on the soil surface only a month and a half after the start of germination. Do not rush to conclude that your oak trees have died and dig up a bed with crops (as the experience of novice amateur foresters shows, this happens). If in doubt, try digging up some acorns. If their roots have grown, then the acorns are alive.

Care of oak seedlings

Oak seedlings suffer much less from weeds and drying out of the soil than coniferous trees (due to the supply of nutrients in the acorn, large roots and leaves immediately develop). However, try to always keep crops free of weeds and ensure watering during severe drought, especially if you want to get large seedlings in one year. Stop any additional watering about a month and a half before the time when mass leaf fall begins in your area - this will allow oak seedlings to better prepare for wintering (too late growths in oak often freeze out in winter).

In summer, oak seedlings are often affected by powdery mildew, a fungal disease. Powdery mildew is not able to kill oak seedlings, but can significantly reduce their growth. With a strong development of powdery mildew (if white bloom covers more than half of the area of ​​​​all leaves), seedlings can be treated with a 1% solution of copper sulfate or a 1% suspension of sulfur. Oak seedlings can be grown for two years in one place without a transplant, or they can be transplanted in the second year into a "school". The second method is preferable, because it allows you to form a more compact and branched root system, which suffers less when transplanted to a permanent place (for two-year-old seedlings grown without transplantation, the length of the main root can be more than a meter, and it is almost impossible to transplant them without damaging the root).

Oak seedlings should be transplanted into the “school” in spring, preferably as early as possible, so that the root system damaged during transplantation has time to partially recover even before the leaves bloom (it is also important that the soil is still moist during transplantation). When transplanting, cut off the main root of each oak seedling at a distance of 15-20 cm from where the acorn was located (in most seedlings, the remains of an acorn in the second year are still visible). This will form a more compact root system. It is possible not to cut the main root, but in this case it will be very difficult to dig up two-year-old seedlings without serious damage to their root system.

Oak seedlings. © Elektryczne jabłko

Place rows of seedlings at a distance of 25–30 cm from each other in the “school”, and seedlings in a row at a distance of 12–15 cm. When planting under each oak seedling, make holes 20–25 cm deep with a stake or spade handle ( the depth of the hole should be such that when the seedling is planted, the place of attachment of the acorn is 2-3 cm below the soil surface). Insert the seedlings into the holes (the main root of oak seedlings, unlike the root of conifers, is hard and straight and inserted into the holes without problems). Then fill the holes with earth and compact it with your hands so that the earth fits snugly against the roots of the seedlings.

Transplanted oak seedlings in the first weeks after transplantation suffer greatly from root damage - leafing is rather slow, and shoot growth is relatively small. Nevertheless, by mid-summer, the normal development of seedlings is restored, and by autumn, as a rule, large seedlings (30–50 cm high) are quite suitable for planting in a permanent place. If the size of the seedlings by autumn leaves much to be desired, then only the largest ones can be selected for transplantation, and the rest left in the "school" for another year.

If you are transplanting annual oak seedlings to a permanent place (this is quite possible if planting is done in areas with low grass cover or plowed soil), then do not cut the main roots of the seedlings - try to keep as much of their length as possible. The root system of an annual oak seedling is represented mainly by a long and straight taproot with weak and short lateral roots, therefore, for transplanting, it is enough to make a narrow hole of the appropriate depth using a stake or a shovel handle.

Types of oak

English oak (summer, English, or common) - Quercus robur

Occurs naturally in the European part of Russia, Central and Western Europe. A very powerful tree up to 50 m tall, in closed plantations with a slender trunk, highly debranched, in single plantings in open places - with a short trunk and a wide, spreading, low-set crown. Lives 500-900 years.

English oak (Quercus robur). © 2micha

The bark on trunks up to 40 years old is smooth, olive-brown, later grayish-brown, almost black. The leaves are alternate, at the top of the shoots close together in bunches, leathery, oblong, obovate, up to 15 cm long, with an elongated top and 3-7 pairs of obtuse, lateral lobes of unequal length. Lobes entire or with 1-3 teeth, often with auricles at the base of the leaf blade. The leaves are shiny, bare, dark green above, lighter below, sometimes with sparse hairs. In spring, the oak blossoms late, one of the last among our trees. Oak blossoms in April-May, when it still has very small leaves. The flowers are unisexual, monoecious, very small and inconspicuous. Male or staminate flowers are collected in peculiar inflorescences - long and thin, yellowish-greenish drooping catkins, reminiscent of hazel catkins. Acorns up to 3.5 cm, 1/5 covered with a cupule, ripen in early autumn.

Grows slowly, the greatest energy of growth in 5-20 years. Moderately photophilous, wind-resistant due to powerful root system. Excessive waterlogging of the soil does not tolerate, but withstands temporary flooding for up to 20 days. It prefers deep, fertile, fresh soils, but is able to develop on any, including dry and saline ones, which makes it indispensable in green building in many regions of Russia. It has high drought and heat resistance. One of the most durable breeds, some sources indicate a life expectancy of up to 1500 years.

Possesses powerful energy. Oak in Russia was considered a sacred tree. In the springs located in the oak forests, the water has an excellent taste and is particularly clean.

Propagated by sowing acorns, decorative forms - by grafting and green cuttings. It is well renewed by shoots from a stump. Acorns do not tolerate desiccation, as soon as they lose even a small part of the water, they die. In heat, they easily rot, they are very sensitive to cold and frost. This circumstance presents a certain difficulty for preserving acorns for seeds. In nature, there is no such problem: acorns that have fallen in late autumn in the forest overwinter in a wet bed of leaves under a thick layer of snow that protects them both from drying out and from frost. The germination of an acorn resembles the germination of a pea: its cotyledons do not rise above the soil surface, as in many plants, but remain in the ground. A thin green stem rises up. At first it is leafless, and only after some time small leaves appear on its top.

Red oak (Quercus rubra)

It occurs naturally along river banks, where there is no stagnant water in the soil, north of the 35th parallel of the North American continent, up to Canada. Tree up to 25 m in height.

A slender tree with a dense hipped crown.

Red oak (Quercus rubra). © Jean-Pol GRANDMONT

The trunk is covered with thin, smooth, gray bark, cracking in old trees. Young shoots are reddish-felt, annual shoots are red-brown, smooth. The leaves are deeply notched, thin, shiny, up to 15-25 cm, with 4-5 pointed lobes on each side of the leaf, reddish when blooming, dark green in summer, lighter below, in autumn, before falling off, scarlet-red in young trees , in old ones - brownish-brown. Blooms at the same time as the leaves open. Acorns are spherical in shape, up to 2 cm, red-brown, as if chopped off from below, unlike English oak, they ripen in the fall of the second year. It bears fruit steadily and abundantly from 15-20 years. When young, it grows faster than European oaks.

Frost resistant. Medium light-loving, easily tolerates lateral shading, but prefers full coverage of the top of the crown. Not drought tolerant. Wind-resistant, not very picky about soil fertility, can withstand even an acidic reaction, however, does not tolerate calcareous and wet soils. Resistant to pests and diseases, including powdery mildew - the scourge of our oaks. It has high phytoncidal properties. Due to its high decorativeness, resistance to adverse environmental factors, magnificent autumn decoration, it deserves the widest use in green building, for creating single and group plantings, alleys, arrays, lining roads and streets.

Downy oak (Quercus pubescens)

Naturally found in the southern Crimea, the northern part of Transcaucasia, Southern Europe and Asia Minor. Tree up to 10 m tall. Durable.

Downy oak (Quercus pubescens). © Petr Filippov

Significantly inferior in size to the previous species, with a low, winding trunk and a wide crown, sometimes even a shrub. Young shoots are strongly pubescent. Leaves 5-10 cm long, very variable in shape and size, with 4-8 pairs of obtuse or pointed lobes, dark green, glabrous above, grey-green below, pubescent. The scales of the plush surrounding the acorn are also fluffy.

It grows slowly, loves light and heat, lives on dry stony slopes and soils containing lime. Handles haircut well. Valuable species for green building in arid areas, grows on stony soils where other species do not develop. An excellent material for high hedges and figured, sheared forms.

White oak (Quercus alba)

Native to eastern North America. Grows in forests with other types of oak and hazel, on various soils, but better on deep, rich, well-drained, limestone; in the north of the range it is distributed no higher than 200 m above sea level. sea, in the south up to 1500 m a.s.l. seas.

White oak (Quercus alba). © Msact

Large beautiful tree up to 30 m, with powerful spreading branches forming a wide, tent-shaped crown. The shoots are bare, the bark of the trunk is gray, shallowly cracking. Remarkable for very large, oblong-oval leaves, up to 22 cm, with 5-9 obtuse lobes; when blooming - bright red, in summer - bright green, with a whitish-gray underside. In autumn, the leaves turn dark red or purple-purple. Acorns up to 2.5 cm, a quarter covered with a plush. Seeds are stored for spring sowing in semi-moist sand. In autumn, sown immediately after harvest and air drying. Germination of seeds is maintained until the spring of next year. Ground germination 80 - 85%. Embedding depth s. 5 - 6 cm.

Marsh oak (Quercus palustris)

Homeland North America.

A slender tree up to 25 m tall, narrowly pyramidal when young, later broadly pyramidal. Young shoots are thin, hanging, reddish-brown. The bark of the trunk is greenish-brown, and remains smooth for a long time. Leaves up to 12 cm long, with 5-7 deeply cut, almost to the middle of the leaf, toothed lobes, bright green above, lighter below, with tufts of hairs in the corners of the veins. In autumn they are bright purple. Acorns sessile, almost spherical, up to 1.5 cm, 1/3 covered by a cupule. Seeds are stored for spring sowing in semi-moist sand. Autumn with. sown after harvest and air drying. Germination of seeds is maintained until the spring of next year. Ground germination with. 80 - 90%. Embedding depth s. 5 - 6 cm.

Swamp oak (Quercus palustris). © Willow

Fast growing, less hardy than red oak and northern oak. It is more demanding on the soil and its moisture, as it grows in nature on deep, moist soils on the banks of rivers and swamps. It tolerates city conditions well. Looks great in single, group and avenue plantings, along the banks of reservoirs. In culture since the middle of the XVIII century. Grows in the parks of Ukraine (Chernivtsi), Belarus, Voronezh region. It freezes in St. Petersburg.

Willow oak (Quercus phellos)

Wildly grows in eastern North America.

A beautiful deciduous tree up to 20 m tall, with a slender trunk and a wide-round (pyramidal in youth) crown. Remarkable original shiny green leaves resembling willow leaves (up to 12 cm long by 2 cm wide). This similarity is even more enhanced in young leaves, strongly pubescent below. In autumn, the leaves turn dull yellow.

Willow oak (Quercus phellos). © Daderot

Differs in rapid growth, photophilous, unpretentious to the soil, tolerates temperature drops down to -23 ºС. Used in single and group plantings. In culture since 1680.

Holm oak (Quercus ilex)

Homeland Mediterranean, Southern Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor.

Evergreen tree up to 25 m tall, with a smooth dark gray trunk and a dense, wide spreading crown. The shoots are grayish-felt, the leaves are small, up to 8 cm, highly variable in shape, leathery, shiny, dark green, yellowish or whitish-pubescent below. Acorns ripen in the second year.

We recommend storing freshly harvested acorns in trenches. Permissible period of dry storage - until the next spring. Acorns are stratified in moderately moist sand for 2-3 months at 2-5°C, then sown in greenhouses or ridges, where they germinate at 0-15°C for 20-30 days. Embedding depth s. 4 - 7 cm.

Holm oak (Quercus ilex). © propio

Grows fast, fairly shade tolerant, hardy, tolerates temperatures down to -20°C without damage. Drought tolerant. Grows on dry rocky slopes and any type of soil. It tolerates a haircut, durable. Valuable, beautiful breed for park construction in the south of Russia. Good in group, avenue and street plantings, in regular gardens - to create dense high hedges and high walls, for which its small-leaved forms are suitable. In culture since 1819of the year.

Chestnut oak (Quercus castaneifolia)

Wildly grows in Armenia, the Caucasus and northern Iran. Listed in the Red Book of the USSR. Protected in the Hyrkansky Reserve. Forms pure or with an admixture of other deciduous forests on the crests of ridges. Light-loving mesoxerophyte.

Tall, up to 30 m, a beautiful tree with a slender trunk, the bark of which remains smooth for a long time, with a wide tent-shaped crown and large leaves, resembling the leaves of a sowing chestnut, up to 18 cm long, with large, sharp, triangular teeth. From above, the leaves are dull, dark green, almost bare; finely pubescent below, greyish-white. Acorns up to 3 cm, 1/3 covered with a plush.

Chestnut oak (Quercus castaneifolia). © Mmparedes

Relatively fast growing, medium frost hardy, not drought tolerant enough. Good in alley, group and single plantings of parks and forest parks. Suitable for cultivation in the southwestern and southern parts of Russia, on the Black Sea coast. In culture since 1830.

Large-fruited oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

North American species, growing as a tree up to 30 m high, with a thick trunk and spreading, tent-shaped crown. The bark on the trunk is light brown, cracking. Leaves obovate, oblong, up to 25 cm long, deeply lobed; shiny, dark green above, whitish-green below, pubescent, in autumn they acquire a spectacular yellow-brown color. Acorns are oval, large, up to 5 cm, 1/3 covered by a cupule.

Seeds are stored for spring sowing in semi-moist sand in the basement. In autumn, the seeds are sown after harvesting and air drying. Germination of seeds is maintained until the spring of next year. Ground germination 80 - 85%. Seeding depth 5-6 cm.

Large-fruited oak (Quercus macrocarpa). © Daderot

Almost as fast as English oak; in terms of frost resistance, it is close to it and to red oak, but more moisture-loving than these species. Decorative, used in green building, like other species. In culture since 1826.

Diseases and pests of oak

Diseases of plant wood are the most dangerous. Infectious diseases that affect wood are divided into two groups. Non-rotten diseases include cancerous ulcers and tumors, vascular diseases of trunks and branches, necrosis of bark and sapwood. Diseases of this group affect the most important tissues of trunks and branches and, if strongly developed, lead to the drying out of trees. Cancer ulcers and tumors develop and spread slowly and are usually caused by fungi and bacteria. Vascular disease develops and spreads quickly and can lead to the drying up of trees in a few years or months. Necrosis of trunks and branches can also form extensive foci of desiccation. Their distribution is ensured by the ability of pathogens to accumulate a huge amount of infection in the dead tissues of affected trees. The causative agents of necrosis are also semi-parasitic imperfect and marsupial fungi, sometimes bacteria. Rot diseases include wood rot of branches and trunks, root and butt rot.

Gall midge

By autumn, yellowish or yellowish-pink balls - galls - the size of a small cherry, often develop on oak leaves. They look like tiny apples of the correct spherical shape.

Galls - painful growth of leaf tissues. The gall midge insect, which looks like a very small fly, is to blame for their appearance. The gall midge pierces the skin of the leaf with a thin, sharp ovipositor and lays an egg there. Some time after that, a "ball" grows on the sheet. If such a ball is broken in late autumn, in the middle of it you can find a small white worm - a gall midge larva - or an already adult insect. In some years, oak leaves are literally dotted with galls - there are several of them on each leaf.

Gall on an oak leaf. © Fritz Geller-GrimmGall on oak. © RasbakGall on oak. © Saharadesertfox

Gauls are sometimes called ink nuts. This name is not accidental. Our ancestors at the time of Pushkin used them to make black ink. How to get ink in this way? It is necessary to prepare a decoction of nuts and add a solution of iron sulfate to it. Merging two weakly colored liquids, we get a completely black liquid. This chemical "focus" is easily explained. The gall contains many tannins, and they have the ability, when combined with iron salts, to give a thick black color. The same can be done with tea infusion (it also contains a lot of tannins). If a few drops of a yellowish solution of ferric chloride are added to a glass of weak tea, the liquid becomes completely black.

Pests of oak

Leaf-eating and stem pests, and fungal diseases are the most important factors that increase the drying of oak stands. Violation of the ecological balance of oak forest phytocenoses, especially in oak forest monocultures, leads to violations of the water regime of the territories, changes in light and temperature conditions in the plantation, and all together - to the formation of conditions more favorable for the development of pests and diseases.

Oak is damaged by a huge number of pests and diseases. Different authors give different figures on the number of pests and diseases that damage the oak. In the Tellerman forest area, 184 species of leaf pests were identified (Molchanov, 1975). Among the most common pests that damage the foliage, we should name: 5 types of silkworms, 5 types of cutworms, 6 types of moths, 8 types of moths, 8 types of sawflies, 2 types of leafworms, 11 types of gall wasps, 2 types of psyllids, 5 types of weevils, 2 types of Hermes, 2 species of aphids and 3 species of plant mites. Buds and flowers damage 12 species of gall wasps. Acorns are damaged by 2 species of codling moths, 3 species of weevils and 1 species of nutcracker. The trunk and branches damage 8 species of bark beetles, 7 species of longhorn beetles, 3 species of horntails, 2 species of woodworms, 1 species of flat-footed beetle, 3 species of borers, 1 species from the family of whetstones, 1 species of wood borers (Napalkov, 1953).

Sawfly caterpillars on oak leaves. © Beentree

In Europe, 542 species of pests damaging oak have been identified (Hrast Luznjak…, 1996). In total, 206 species of fungi were found, including zygomycetes - 3 species, mastigomycetes - 2 species, ascomycetes - 50 species, basidiomycetes - 43 species, deuteromycetes - 108 species. 1 virus was found - tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), 14 species of bacteria (Erwinia quercicola Geprges et Bad., Erwinia valachika Geprges et Bad., Pseudomonas quercus Schem, etc.). However, the influence of viruses and bacteria as causes of oak drying has not been clearly established (Ragazzi et al., 1995).

Healing power of oak

Young bark of branches and trunks, leaves and acorns of oak are used for treatment. The bark contains acids, resins, pectin, sugar. In acorns - protein and tannins, starch, fatty oil, sugar. The leaves contain tannins and dyes, pentosans.

Oak bark is used as an astringent, anti-inflammatory and wound healing agent. Mixed with other plants, it is used to treat gastritis, colitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, diseases of the liver and spleen. Inside give a cold infusion (1 teaspoon of crushed bark is infused in 2 glasses of cold water for 6-8 hours), 2-3 tablespoons 3-4 times a day.

A decoction of oak bark (1:10) is used for pharyngitis, tonsillitis, skin diseases, stomatitis. For the treatment of burns, a stronger decoction of the bark (1: 5) is used. For skin diseases, an ointment is also used - one part of the condensed decoction of the bark to four parts of lanolin.

A warm infusion of crushed oak acorns in red wine (25% tincture) in the form of compresses is used to treat hernia, and folk healers recommend water decoctions for burns, skin rashes, and excessive sweating of the feet. In addition, a nutritious coffee drink is prepared from acorns, which is consumed with milk and sugar.

For gastric bleeding, intestinal inflammation, poisoning with heavy metals, alkaloids, mushrooms, henbane, dope, food poisoning, a decoction of oak bark is used. For this purpose, 20 g of dry crushed raw materials are poured into 1 cup of hot water, boiled for half an hour, then filtered and the liquid volume is brought to the original boiled water. Take 2 tablespoons 3-4 times a day.

Infusion of oak acorns helps with diarrhea and enterocolitis. It is prepared as follows: 1 teaspoon of dry crushed raw materials is poured into 1 cup of boiling water and filtered after cooling. Take 1/2 cup 2-3 times a day.

For gargling with chronic tonsillitis, pharyngitis, inflammation of the gums and stomatitis, a decoction of oak bark is used. For urethritis and cystitis, a decoction of oak bark is taken 2 tablespoons 3-4 times a day. For the same purpose, an infusion of acorns is used in a similar dosage.

For douching with cervical erosion, uterine prolapse, prolapse of the vaginal walls, vulvovaginitis and trichomonas colpitis, a decoction of oak bark is used: 20 g of dry crushed raw materials are poured into 1 glass of hot water, boiled for half an hour, then filtered and the volume of liquid is brought to boiled water. 1 liter.

A decoction of oak bark is used for baths and washings in case of allergic diathesis. For this purpose, 100 g of dry crushed raw materials are boiled in 1 liter of water for half an hour and filtered. With sweating feet on a decoction of oak bark, foot baths are prepared: 20 g of dry crushed raw materials are poured into 1 glass of hot water, boiled for half an hour, then filtered and the volume of liquid is brought to 1 liter with boiled water.

Cold decoction of the bark is applied for burns and frostbite, as well as for long-term non-healing wounds.

varieties, how and where it grows in Russia, cultivation

Many novice gardeners and summer residents want to grow an oak tree on a plot. However, it is worth knowing about the features of this culture. This knowledge will help you avoid many common mistakes. So, many people choose the wrong place to land. As a result, in the end, after many years, an already mature and powerful tree has to be uprooted. And there is no other way, because the place is not chosen correctly and the oak begins to interfere with the growth of other summer cottage crops.

Having learned the description of the oak (Quercus) plant, one can draw initial conclusions about how to properly care for it. The above descriptions of oak varieties will help you choose seedlings for your site. And numerous illustrations will make the process of getting acquainted with the information presented in the article very simple and exciting.

What an oak tree looks like: photo and description

Starting the description of the oak tree, it is worth noting that it is a representative of the genus of trees, less often shrubs of the beech family. Homeland - North Africa, Southern Europe, Syria, Palestine. You can find out what an oak tree looks like from the proposed material, richly illustrated with pictures.

About 45 species of oaks are known. The common oak is the most common.

Among many peoples, the oak was considered the most beautiful tree, and it was treated with respect and love. In Latin, it is not without reason that oak is called so: “beautiful tree” - Quercus (Quercus), from the Celtic words “quer” - “beautiful” and “cuez” - “tree”. This is the most durable plant: sometimes an oak lives up to two thousand years, and hundred-year-old and three-hundred-year-old oaks are very common.

To imagine what an oak tree looks like, you need to understand that this is a huge tree, up to 40 meters high, with a thick trunk and winding, thick branches that form a wide tent of foliage - it really gives the impression of power and strength. Especially powerful are single old oaks growing somewhere in the middle of a meadow. The trunk of such an oak is low and not very straight, but it is very thick at the very bottom. Winding branches spread wide in all directions, the lower ones almost touching the ground. The crown of the tree resembles a ball. In the forest, oak looks completely different. Here it is tall, with a narrow, laterally compressed crown, which never descends to the ground, but, on the contrary, is located at a fairly high altitude. The trunk of such a tree is more or less straight. All this is a consequence of the competition for light, which manifests itself between the trees in the forest the stronger, the closer they stand to each other.

See how the oak tree looks like in the photo, which shows representatives of this species of different ages:

Thin branches of oak, even if they do not have leaves, are easy to recognize. Their characteristic feature is that at the very end of the shoot there is a whole group of buds. This is not the case with our other deciduous trees. A single kidney is ovoid and covered on the outside with many protective scales.

Look at the oak tree in the photo and the description offered on the page above, it will sparkle with bright and rich colors of fresh greenery:

How the oak blossoms (with photo)

In spring, the oak blossoms late, one of the last among our trees. He's clearly in no hurry. Haste would only hurt him: after all, the young leaves and stems of this tree, which have barely been born and have not yet had time to grow properly, are very sensitive to cold, they die from frost. And in the spring frosts are sometimes quite late. And then we will figure out how the oak blooms and when it happens in wildlife.

Oak blossoms when it still has very small leaves and the trees seem to be dressed in thin green lace. Oak flowers are very small and inconspicuous. Male, or staminate, flowers are collected in peculiar inflorescences - thin yellowish-green dangling catkins, which are a bit like hazel catkins. These catkins hang down from the branches in whole bunches and almost do not differ in color from young, still very small leaves. Female, or pistillate, oak flowers are harder to find. They are very small, no bigger than the head of a pin. Each flower has the appearance of a barely visible greenish seed with a crimson-red top. These flowers are arranged singly or two or three at the ends of special thin stems. It is from them that acorns familiar to everyone are formed by autumn. From spring to autumn, acorns go through a complex path of development. After flowering, a small cup-shaped plush wrapper first grows, and then the acorn itself. Only in late autumn do acorns fully ripen and fall to the ground. And the plush remains on the tree for some time.

See how the oak blossoms - the photo shows this amazing process before the appearance of acorns:

Oak has the rare ability to produce two generations of shoots in one season. The first generation is formed in the spring. Normal stems with leaves appear from the buds, which at this time grow in all other trees. But a few weeks pass, and the spring shoot seems to be completed. At the end of it, the apical bud starts growing and gives rise to a new, summer shoot. The newly appeared shoot at first has a lighter, sometimes reddish color and is therefore clearly visible. Later it darkens and no longer stands out.

Summer oak shoots appear in early July, around the time when Ivan Kupala's day comes according to the folk calendar. This is probably why they got the name "Ivan's shoots". Such shoots are more often formed in oak in more southern areas, where sometimes even two generations of such shoots can appear in one summer.

Oak wood (pictured)

Oak is a very hard and heavy wood. A lot of interesting things can be said about its structure and other features. Look at the cut surface of some fresh oak stump and pay attention to the color of the wood. Almost the entire surface of the stump, with the exception of a narrow outer ring, has a rather dark, brownish color. Therefore, the trunk of the tree consists mainly of darker wood. This is the so-called core. The wood of the oak core has already served its age and does not participate in the life of the tree - no liquids pass through it. Its dark color is explained by the fact that it is impregnated with special substances that, as it were, preserve tissues and prevent the development of rot. Oak heartwood has a specific smell. You can clearly feel it when you pass by a stack of fresh oak logs. Oak barrels have the same smell. The core is the most valuable part of the trunk for crafts; furniture, parquet, barrels, etc. are made from this material.

There is a lighter, almost white oak outer layer. On the stump, it looks like a rather narrow ring. The name of this layer is sapwood. It is along this layer that the soil solution that the roots absorb - water with a small amount of nutrient salts - rises up the trunk. Sapwood is an active, active part of wood, which is of great importance in the life of a tree. However, its share in the total mass of wood is small.

If the stump is smooth enough, it is not difficult to notice many tiny holes here, just like pricks with a thin needle. These are the thinnest tubes-vessels cut across, which run along the trunk. It is on them that the soil solution rises. In oak, in comparison with other trees, the vessels have a large diameter, they can be easily seen with the naked eye. In many other tree species, they are visible only with a strong magnifying glass or microscope. The capacity of oak vessels is quite large. It has been estimated that in just one hot summer day, about 100 liters of soil solution passes upwards through the vessels in the trunk of an old oak tree.

Vessels are not randomly located on the surface of the stump. They form clusters in the form of thin concentric rings. Each ring consists of very many vessels closely spaced close to each other. It is clearly seen on the stump that one ring of vessels is separated from the other by a thin layer of homogeneous wood. This alternation of layers is associated with the change of seasons. In late spring - early summer, a ring of vessels is formed, and in late summer - early autumn, a layer of homogeneous wood is formed, devoid of visible vessels. The next year, everything repeats again. And so many tens, and sometimes hundreds of years.

The age of an oak can be calculated from the rings of vessels on the stump. The count must be kept, of course, from the center of the trunk: the very first rings of vessels appeared here, when the tree was just beginning its life.

Oak vessels are clearly visible not only on the stump, i.e. on a cross section of wood. They are easy to see in the longitudinal section. Look carefully at the oak parquet tiles or at the surface of oak furniture, such as a table. You will see many thin parallel lines of dark color. These lines are collected in narrow stripes. Between the stripes there are layers of "unlined", homogeneous wood. You probably already guessed that thin lines are vessels cut along, and strips of lines are rings of vessels cut in the same direction.

See how oak wood looks like in the photo, where various samples of this material are offered:

Galls on oak leaves

In autumn, yellowish or yellow-pink balls the size of a small cherry can often be seen on oak leaves. Such balls are called galls. Galls on oak leaves are painful growths of leaf tissues. The reason for their appearance is the gall midge insect, which looks like a very small fly. At the beginning of summer, the gall midge pierces the skin of the leaf with a thin, sharp ovipositor and lays an egg in the leaf pulp. The plant reacts to this foreign body with a strong growth of tissues, and after a while a gall ball grows on the leaf. If such a ball is broken in late autumn, in the middle of it you can find a small white worm - a gall midge larva or an already adult insect. In some years, oak leaves are literally dotted with galls - there are several of them on each leaf.

Galls on oak are sometimes called "ink nuts". This name is not accidental. They were once used to make black ink. To get ink, you need to prepare a decoction of nuts and add a solution of iron sulfate to it. Merging two weakly colored liquids, we get a completely black liquid. Such an unusual phenomenon is easily explained. The gall contains many tannins, which have the ability, when combined with iron salts, to give a thick black color.

The fruit of the oak tree is an acorn (with photo)

It is necessary to say a little about acorns. It should be noted first of all that these are not seeds, but fruits (since each is formed from the pistil of a flower). But acorns are like the fruits of the oak tree, peculiar: all their contents consist of only one large seed.

Some other features of acorns are also interesting. Compare them with the seeds of plants familiar to us, such as peas, beans. Mature seeds of these plants are completely dry. They are perfectly preserved both in heat and in the cold. But acorns are not like that. They are relatively juicy and very capricious. First of all, they do not tolerate drying at all. Once they lose even a small part of the water, they die. They are also sensitive to frost.

Finally, they rot very easily. Therefore, it is quite difficult to store the fruit of the oak tree for a long time. It is especially difficult to keep them alive during the winter, from autumn to spring. This problem sometimes arises for forestry workers.

Indeed, how to protect acorns in winter from several dangers at once - from frost, drying out and decay? Many ways have been proposed to preserve them. One of the most effective is to put the collected acorns in a basket in the fall, close it and lower it to the bottom of the river until spring (the water, of course, must be running so that the acorns do not "suffocate").

Oak seed is characterized by the fact that almost all of its content is the germ of the future plant - the embryo. But the embryo here is unusual: its cotyledons are excessively powerfully developed. They have a lot of starch. This is the supply of food for the young oak that will emerge from the acorn.

Look at the photo of oak acorns, which shows all the features of this seed intended for the process of crop propagation:

How oak grows from an acorn

The process of how an oak tree grows from an acorn resembles the germination of a pea: the cotyledons do not rise above the soil surface, as in many plants, but remain in the ground. Only a thin green stem grows upwards. Initially, it is leafless, and only after some time, small, but typically oak leaves can be seen on its top. In nature, oak seedlings appear relatively late - in late spring - early summer.

In the first summer, the young oak forms a fairly long stalk, often longer than a pencil. In forest conditions, this is a record seedling height among trees. The large length of the stem of a young oak is explained simply: it lives off the acorn, consuming the reserves of nutrients contained in the cotyledons.

But how does an oak grow in subsequent years if it lives under the forest canopy? It is quite dark under the trees, and already in the second year the stem elongates a little, since in low light the leaves of the plant produce very little organic matter necessary for growth. (Now the oak lives on its own photosynthesis.) Further, the growth of the stem almost stops due to lack of light, and sometimes the stem even dries up completely. However, oak is a hardy plant. He stubbornly clings to life. At the base of the dried stem, a new living shoot appears, but very weak. Such half-dead, vegetating oaks are called junkies. Their life span in the forest under shading is rarely more than four or five years. Torchki is a kind of reserve of young animals, which lasts for several years. As long as the mother tree is alive, the junkies are doomed to a slow death. Many times during the life of an old tree, young oaks appear under its canopy and each time they die from lack of light. But as soon as the old oak dies for one reason or another and a gap forms in the forest canopy, the sticks begin to grow vigorously and replace the dead mother tree.

Where the oak tree grows in Russia and how it lives

The most suitable places where oak grows are mixed forest zones, river valleys, steppe zones, ravines and gullies. Oak forests have a much smaller distribution than the oak itself. We find these forests only in the most favorable soil and climatic conditions for oak. In prehistoric times, there were much more oak forests than now, but even then they were far from being found everywhere where an oak was able to grow. This is a general rule in the plant kingdom. This is the case with many other plants. Within the area of ​​natural distribution (range) of a plant, it does not grow massively everywhere. Let us consider in more detail where the oak tree grows and what it needs for successful and rapid development.

Currently, most of our oak forests have long been destroyed. The fact is that these forests occupy soils that are very favorable for agriculture - quite moist, well-drained, rich in nutrients. Therefore, when our ancestors needed arable land, they first of all cut down oak forests. You need to understand how the oak lives in order to be able to create suitable conditions for it.

Well, you need to figure out where oak grows in Russia and how this plant differs depending on the climate. Oak grows differently in different parts of our country. A straight-barreled giant, more than 30 m high - this is how we see it in the oak forests of the forest-steppe, for example, in the famous Tellerman grove near the city of Borisoglebsk, Voronezh region. No wonder this forest was declared by Peter I as a "ship grove". From here they took the best wood for the construction of the Russian fleet. The oak near Moscow looks different. Here it is rather clumsy and low - no more than 22-23 m - and is suitable for the most part only for firewood. Further north, for example, in the Vologda region, oak grows in the form of a squat tree or even a shrub.

It is interesting that in the past the oak also grew in the north as large trees. Buried black trunks of such oaks (this is the so-called bog oak) are sometimes found in the thickness of sediments at the bottom of the northern rivers of the European part of Russia.

Oak grows best in Western Europe, where the climate is milder and warmer than ours. Giant trees aged 1500-2000 years are known here. Near Moscow, the oldest oak is about 800 years old. This unique oak - the same age as Moscow - has been preserved in Gorki Leninskiye.

In early spring, before the leaves bloom, the oak tolerates temporary flooding by rivers well, which many other tree species cannot stand. In floodplains, i.e. on gently sloping low banks, which are annually flooded with spring waters, oak forests (floodplain oak forests) often develop. During the flood of the river, you can drive a boat through such a forest: the layer of water reaches a meter. But after the water subsides, the trees are dressed in foliage, and grasses appear under them.

In areas not flooded by rivers in spring, oak often grows accompanied by other deciduous trees: linden, maple, ash, elm, wild apple, etc. However, it is usually more than other trees. In the northwestern regions of the country, starting approximately from Moscow, the oak and its companions get along well with spruce, in places forming spruce-oak forests, but the oak does not feel like a master here. Often it is replaced by spruce, which is more viable under these conditions.

Oak growing conditions

What should you know when growing oak in your backyard and what conditions should be created? A mighty oak at a young age needs caring care. Oak seedlings can not stand frost, bright rays of the sun, or strong winds. In the open, they die. But in thickets, under the protection of broad leaves of hazel and bird cherry, they survive and grow.

The grown oak spreads the crowns of its neighbors with strong branches. Around the oak, as the foresters say, is a "fur coat" from other trees and shrubs. From above, as in a window, the sun's rays and rain are pouring. When a young oak gets stronger under these conditions, it quickly outgrows the rest of the trees. For him, neither the sun, nor frost, nor storm are afraid.

Shoots of summer oak, or, as it is also called, pedunculate, ordinary, are very sensitive to spring frosts. Until the age of 8, it grows slowly. Suitable growing conditions for oak allow it to develop at a gigantic pace.

Oak is capable of producing sprouts from a stump. After the tree is cut down (of course, not very old), many young shoots soon appear on the bark of the stump. When they are old enough, you can see unusual giant leaves on them. The shoots themselves are also very strong, long and thick. After all, all the juices that the roots used to supply the whole tree now go only to the young shoots.

The growth on the stump develops from the so-called dormant buds. These kidneys are unusual. They remain alive for decades, but at the same time they do not bloom, as if waiting for the right opportunity. Such buds are initially formed on a still thin, very young stalk. Over time, the stem thickens and turns into a trunk, but the bud does not "sink" in the thickness of the wood. It grows every year exactly as much as the trunk thickens, and always ends up on its surface. Sleeping buds are ready to bloom at any moment. They quickly start to grow after the tree is cut down.

These buds also awaken when an oak that has been growing in the forest all its life is suddenly released. Its trunk in an open place seems to be overgrown with greenery, a mass of short shoots with leaves appears on it. These are the so-called water shoots. They also arise from dormant buds.

Sometimes at the end of spring, when the oak tree has just blossomed, whole hordes of caterpillars attack it and destroy all the foliage. Oaks become completely bare, leafless, as in winter. You might think that the trees have already died. But it's not. After some time, they are covered with new foliage. These are dormant buds that have started to grow, which, with normal development, should have blossomed only the next year.

Oak tolerates winter well in the middle zone of the country. But in especially severe winters, he still suffers from frost. On oak trunks, one can see a long, strongly protruding fold, which goes from top to bottom for a considerable distance. This is a trace of a healed wound, a deep crack in the trunk. Such cracks appear in the middle of winter during severe frosts. They are called freezers. Cracking of wood from frost occurs instantly and is accompanied by a loud sound, reminiscent of a shot from a gun. A deep wound on a tree does not heal for a long time. Its edges are strongly swollen, swell. And when this wound finally heals, a “scar” remains on the trunk. Such an outgrowth, of course, spoils the wood very much and disfigures the tree. Oaks with frosty influxes are the most common occurrence in the northern regions. In more southern regions, frost holes are rarely formed.

What are the types of oak (with photo)

The following are common types of oak that can grow in different climatic zones. Find out what oaks are and how they differ from each other.

Pedunculate oak - Quercus robur L. (Beech family).

Large deciduous tree up to 40 m in height, with a strongly developed crown and a trunk up to 2 m in diameter, in closed plantations the crown is smaller and the trees are more slender. The leaves are large, up to 15 cm long, obovate, pinnately lobed, glabrous, slightly leathery. Flowers dioecious, male with 6 tepals, 6 (rarely 4-12) stamens, collected in dangling catkins; female with poorly developed perianth and one pistil, 1-3 sit on an elongated peduncle. The fruits are acorns, 1.5-3.5 cm long and 1.2-2 cm wide, immersed in a shallow cup-shaped cupule. Blossoms in April, fruits ripen in September. Renewed by seeds and stump shoots from dormant buds on the trunk.

Grows in temperate, subtropical and tropical zones, mainly in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a forest-forming species.

Serrated oak Quercus dentata Thunb.

In Russia, reaches the north-eastern border of the range. Decorative plant. The general range covers China, the Korean peninsula and Japan.

Tree up to 5 (8) m high and up to 20 cm in diameter, with dark gray longitudinally fissured bark. Young shoots are densely reddish-hairy. Kidneys about 1 cm long, densely pubescent. The leaves are obovate, up to 30 cm long and 12 cm wide, dark green above, below with dense reddish pubescence of stellate hairs, with short and wide lobes, short-petiolate. The fruit is an acorn, almost sessile. Pluses are hemispherical, up to 2.5 cm in diameter, with narrowly lanceolate, recurved scales up to 1.5 cm long. Acorns hemispherical, up to 2 cm in diameter. Flowering in May-June, fruiting in September.

In addition, there are summer, winter and evergreen oaks. In summer, reddish leaves bloom early and fall off in autumn. In the winter oak, leaves with long petioles appear late, but do not fall off in the fall, and the dried ones stay on the branches all winter. In an oak tree growing in France, Spain, Italy and in our Caucasus, green leaves do not dry out and do not fall off.

See all these species of oak in the photo, which shows their botanical features and periods of development:


Leaves are good food for silkworms. Oak wood has long been valued for its strength and durability and has long been used in shipbuilding, bridge construction, residential buildings, and is used in large quantities for the manufacture of parquet, sleepers, doors, frames, wheels, furniture, etc. Oak staves are indispensable for barrels, especially cognac and wine; the tannins contained in them give wine materials a special taste and aroma. Dyeing for wool, silk. It is used in landscaping, as well as mountain reclamation, slope strengthening, field protection, anti-erosion.

Every ten years, a layer of cork bark 3 centimeters thick is removed from the cork oak. The cork is used for insulation, the manufacture of lifebuoys, helmets, soles. Benzene, naphthalene, and lighting gas are obtained from cork waste. From other oaks, the bark is also removed, which is used for tanning leather. The skins are soaked together with oak bark, which makes them soft, durable and do not rot. The bark for tanning is removed from young oak trees that have not reached the age of twenty.

Oak wood is particularly durable, and oak logs, once in water, do not rot, but become black and even stronger. Black oak is especially valued in carpentry.

The tannins impregnating the wood prevent decay, so barrels and parquet are made from oak.

Acorns are of particular interest. In the forest, squirrels feed on acorns, making stocks of them for the winter. On the way, they lose acorns and sometimes forget about their warehouses, thus contributing to the spread of oak seeds.

Acorns are very nutritious, but the tannins give acorns an astringent, bitter taste. If you remove these substances, then a nutritious product will turn out from acorns, from which you can make porridge, cakes, pancakes and even "nut" cakes. Tannins are easily removed by soaking.

Acorns contain a lot of starch (up to 40%) and are used to make a coffee substitute; in the famine years, flour from them was added to bread.

Acorns should be harvested when they are mature, when they fall out of the bushes at the end of September, and even better - after the first frosts. They are peeled, cut into four parts and filled with water. Soaking lasts two days, and every day the water is changed three times. Then the acorns are transferred to a saucepan, poured with water (two parts of water to one part of the acorns) and heated to a boil. Then the acorns are passed through a meat grinder and the resulting mass is dried, scattering a thin layer on plywood. After preliminary drying in air, the acorns are dried in the oven or on the stove until they crunch like crackers. Dried acorns are crushed or ground in a coffee mill.

Coarse grinding produces groats that can be used to cook porridge, and flour can be used to bake cakes. Since the acorn dough does not have stickiness and viscosity, the cakes break when turned over. To avoid this, a frying pan with a tortilla placed on it is covered with another frying pan of the same size and, when one side is fried, the frying pans are turned over. The cake falls from one pan to another, and the other side of it is fried. If the cakes are smeared with jam, cottage cheese, jam and stacked on top of each other, you get a delicious cake. Top the cakes with lightly toasted acorns or sunflower seeds.

When making a "nut" cake from flour, acorns will completely replace nuts. Fried pieces of acorns are slightly sweet, it is pleasant to drink tea with them, as with crackers.

Acorns are also used to make coffee. In this case, they do not need to be soaked. They are peeled, roasted and ground. Acorns are also used to obtain alcohol.

Interesting facts about oak trees.

Scientists, on the basis of archaeological finds in different parts of the world, claim that acorns were the original food of man. Indeed, the expeditions of Soviet archaeologists, while excavating 5,000-year-old Trypillya settlements in the Kirovograd region, established that the first and most ancient bread was bread made from acorns. On the ruins of the furnace, acorn prints were found in fragments of clay. The most ancient inhabitants of the south of Russia dried acorns in ovens, ground them into flour and baked bread from it. In the Middle Ages and later, acorns were mixed into bread during famines. The Lusitans and California Indians still store and eat acorns. Nutritionally, acorns are almost as good as barley.

Oaks with sweet acorns are known in Greece and Spain. Among the oaks that grow here, especially in the south, there are also those that give acorns that are completely non-bitter.

Oak is one of the most energetic trees in central Russia. In Russia, he has always been considered a sacred tree associated with male strength and energy. No wonder men were compared to oak.

This mighty tree is a symbol of great vitality and longevity. Druids also considered it sacred. Oak is an energy donor. With direct contact with him, a person receives the maximum possible amount of vital energy.

The ancient Greeks worshiped sacred oaks, their main god Zeus was depicted in a wreath of oak leaves.

The ancient Slavs considered forests and groves to be the abode of the gods, and near individual trees (oaks, lindens, birches, beeches, ash trees) they worshiped deities, considering these trees and places sacred. Here they performed pagan rituals with sacrifices and divination.

The Slavs considered the oak to be Perun's tree, and the boar, the wild boar, to be the beast of Perun. The fangs of the boars were set into the trunks of oaks, making a sacrifice to Perun.

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