Trees

Oak (Quercus)

When we talk about oak, we refer to various species of the Quercus genus that have very similar characteristics and needs. In general, they are plants with a rather slow growth rate but that, nevertheless, can enjoy a fairly long life.

With them it is possible to have a spectacular garden, one of those ancient ones in which it was very easy to disconnect from the routine and have almost direct contact with nature. Do you want to know everything about the magnificent oak tree? 

Origin and characteristics

Oak are a series of deciduous trees distributed throughout America, Asia and Europe, found from 0 to 2000 meters above sea level, growing on soils often free of lime. Its leaves are large, up to 18cm long, with very serrated margins, green in color except in autumn when they turn yellowish or reddish before falling.

A forest of these plants is known as an oak, oak, or oak. The species that are called like this are:

  • Quercus faginea: known as Carrasqueño oak, Valencian oak or Quejigo, it is a deciduous tree native to the Mediterranean region. It reaches 20 meters in height, and blooms between April and May, before the oak. See file.
  • Quercus humilis: known as downy oak, it is a deciduous tree that normally reaches 10-15 meters, although it can reach 25m. It is native to central and southern Europe, Turkey, and Crimea, but is in danger of extinction due to habitat loss. It blooms in spring.
  • Quercus petraea: known as sessile oak or winter oak, it is a deciduous tree native to the mountains of Europe, found in forests of beech, birch, sessile pine and/ or other oaks. Its flowers sprout about April-May.
  • Quercus pyrenaica: known as melojo or rebollo, it is a deciduous tree native to the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and France that reaches 25 meters in height. In Andalusia (Spain) it is a species protected by law. See file.
  • Quercus robur: known as common oak, charcoal oak, box or ash oak, it is a deciduous tree native to Europe, found in association with beech or oak. It is the national tree of Germany and Latvia. See file.
  • Quercus rubra: known as American Red Oak, American Red Boreal Oak, or Northern Red Oak, it is a deciduous tree native to the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and northeastern Mexico. It reaches 35-40 meters in height, and is one of the most beautiful species, because in autumn its leaves turn red. See the card (and let yourself fall in love ).

Their life expectancy can be anywhere from 200 to 1600 years, much longer than any animal.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a specimen of oak, we recommend providing it with the following care:

Weather

The climate that is favorable is the temperate type. You need to feel the passing of the seasons ; In other words, in order for it to grow well, it is essential that it be hot in summer (without reaching the extremes of 40ºC, yes), and that in winter the temperature drops below 0ºC.

Location

Being a large plant, it needs a lot of room to grow. For this reason, it should be planted in a spacious garden, at a distance of about 10 meters from pipes, walls, etc., as well as other tall plants.

Earth

  • Garden: grows in fertile, loose soils, rich in organic matter and often fresh.
  • Pot: its cultivation in a container is not recommended, although during its first years of youth it is possible to keep it there with substrate for acidic plants.

Irrigation

Oak is a plant that does not withstand drought, but it does not like waterlogging too much. For this reason, it is highly recommended to check the humidity before each watering, for example by introducing a thin wooden stick (if when removing it it comes out with a lot of adhering soil, we will not water).

Other options are to introduce a digital moisture meter, or if it is potted, weigh it once watered and again after a few days.

You have to use rainwater or lime-free.

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From the beginning of spring to the end of summer it is advisable to fertilize it with guano, manure or other homemade fertilizers once a month. If you have it in a pot, use liquid fertilizers, like this one for acid plants, following the instructions specified on the package.

Pruning

It’s not necesary. Just remove the dry, diseased, weak or broken branches that it has.

Multiplication

Oak multiplies by seeds in winter, since it needs to be cold before germinating. The way to proceed is as follows:

  1. The first thing to do is fill a tupperware that has a lid with previously moistened vermiculite.
  2. Then, the seeds are sown and copper or sulfur is sprinkled to prevent the appearance of fungi.
  3. Next, they are covered with a layer of vermiculite -also moistened-, and the tupperware is covered.
  4. Afterwards, the tupperware is put in the fridge, in the sausage area and others for three months.
  5. Once a week, it will be removed and opened so that the air is renewed.
  6. After those twelve weeks, the seeds will be sown in pots of about 10.5 cm in diameter with substrate for acid plants.

Thus, they will germinate in 2-3 weeks.

Rusticity

In general, it resists frosts down to -18ºC and is not affected by late ones, but it could not live in tropical or subtropical climates. I myself – I live in the south of Mallorca, annual temperatures of -1.5ºC minimum and 38ºC maximum – I have a hen and it hardly grows.

What uses does it have?

Ornamental

Without a doubt, its decorative value is very high. As an isolated specimen it is spectacular. In addition, it gives very good shade.

It is also valid as bonsai.

Cattle feed

The acorns they produce are often given to feed livestock.

Oak wood

It is durable, and easy to work with and cut. It is widely used in construction, as well as for interior decoration. With it, wheels, cars, ladders, bridges, railway sleepers, wagons, and a long etcetera are made.

And up to here the oak . What do you think of these trees? Do you have any?

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