An oak tree can grow to 40 m tall, and live for hundreds of years. It is the commonest and possibly the best loved British native tree.
It has catkins, with airborne pollen, and then produces acorns, but not until it is at least 40 years old.
Most acorns never get the chance to germinate, before being eaten. We are pleased to see new oak trees growing from lucky acorns which germinated at Bank Woods!
Oak trees support more life than any other native tree. They host hundreds of species of insect, which provide many birds with food. In autumn many birds and mammals including mice, badgers, squirrels and deer enjoy eating the acorns. Birds and bats roost in oak trees, and feed on the rich supply of insects.
The oak is the symbol of strength and survival, and is often associated with royalty, being called ‘The King of the Forest’. In Celtic folklore, oak is the doorway to knowledge and wisdom.
Oak produces strong hardwood which is still used in construction.