Quercus robur L. - Pedunculate Oak, English Oak.

Taxonomic position.

Family Fagaceae Dum. genus Quercus L.

Morphology and biology.

Tree up to 40-50 m tall. Trunk below summit branching into several thick branches; shoots glabrous, yearling branchlets red-brown; buds oval or subglobose. Leaves aggregate at shoot apices, on short, 0.5-1 cm long, petioles, 7-15, sometimes up to 20-30 cm long and 4-7 cm wide, elongate-oval, with cordate base and distinct auricles, with obtuse extended terminal lobe at apex, with 4-6(8) long, obtuse, less often narrowed to end, unequal, straight or bent lobes at margins, emarginations between the lobes up to 1/3-1/5 of blade width; lobes entire or less often with 1-3 large teeth; leaves above shiny-green, glabrous, beneath paler, initially pubescent, later glabrous or with solitary hairs at veins; lateral veins, going into lobes, far distant one from another, beneath slightly prominent; intermediate veins weaker, sometimes not reaching blade margin. Pistillate flowers and fruits on long, up to 6-8 cm long, pedicel by 1-3; cupula cup-shaped, about 1 cm long, or sometimes shallow, saucer-shaped, about 0.5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm diameter; its calyces slightly convex or almost flat, broadly oval, sometimes transversally elongate, grey-pubescent, with short tip. Acorns 1.5-3.5 cm long, surrounded by cupule up to 1/3-1/2 of their length, initially with sparse pubescence, late glabrous, brownish-yellow with distinct longitudinal brown hatching.


Forest and forest-steppe zones of European part of the former USSR, Ciscaucasia, Dagestan; Atlantic Europe, Scandinavia, Balkan Peninsula.


Forms forests on sandy-clayey, sandy-loamy, podsol and czernozem soils, in steppe zone at ravines and gullets on mountain slopes.

Use and economic value.

One of the most important forest-forming trees. Wood very hard, durable, heavy, widely used for building, railway sleepers, ship-building and different products. Bark contains 8-20% of tannic substances, widely used directly and as tanning extract for leather tannage.


Sokolov SI., Svjaseva OA., Kubli VA. 1977. Ranges of trees and shrubs of the USSR. V.1. Leningrad: Nauka. 240 p. (In Russian).

© L.L.Malyshev

© Photo by D.O.Eliseev

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