Common Oak Tree
The Common Oak Tree (or English Oak)(Quercus Robur) is a very common tree in the
in the upper midwestern part of the United States.
There are over 300 species of oak in the northern temperate regions, as well as many hybrids and special clones. Most oak species share the following characteristics. They all have seeds in the form of acorns but these vary greatly in size, shape and form of the cups.
The buds are usually in clusters, often with several about the same size, resulting in the numbers of large irregular branches that give most oaks their characteristic rugged browns.
The tough, exceptionally strong timber is brownish, with a small amount of whitish less durable sapwood, and usually has the distinctive feature of conspicuous 'medullary rays' which show clearly on the cross section of a log as paler lines radiating from the central core, and
give the timber the beartiful grain pattern so often seen on good furniture. The few oaks selected for description here start with some major timber trees.
A large tree,up to 121ft tall, native to Europe, the Caucasus, Asia Minor and North Africa, this familiar species often lives for 500 years and even, rarely, to 1,000 years; it has a large, spreading crown, often wider than tall, with massive twisting branches which made
it the best species for the 'crucks' and curves needed for wooden-frame houses and ships. The leaves have a somewhat wavy surface, often bunched together, auricled at the base, oblong-obovate 3 1/8 - 4 3/4 inches long, with four to six pairs of rounded lobes and a very short stald.
The flowers appear in April or May, the males in green clusters on a hanging stalk 2-3inches long, the females on short erect stalks above the male catkins, and the acorns often develop in pairs . The demand for this excellent timber tree far exceeds the supply and many of our forest economists are too shortsighted to see
that in a hundered years time it will have extreme rarity value.
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