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Native Irish Oak Trees .. Quercus robur and Quercus petraea


 
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James Kilkelly, was GPI.
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 12:42 am    Post subject: Native Irish Oak Trees .. Quercus robur and Quercus petraea Reply with quote

Native Irish Oak Trees .. Quercus robur and Quercus petraea
by GPI

Ireland is considered the northern-most latitude where the oak tree thrives, so why are we not growing more?
Two fine examples are our native Irish oaks, Quercus robur (Pedunculate or common oak) and Quercus petraea (Sessile oak).
Both are slow growing, acorn producing trees with a large eventual size, both also display the distinctive oak leaf, tough and dark green with wavy lobed edge.

. Quercus petraea tree, leaf and acorn, photo / pic / image.
Quercus petraea / Dair ghaelach (Sessile oak)
Spirally arranged leaves, with a lobed margin.
Leaves have a stem attached.
Acorns have no stalks.

Scientific classificationgrowing the oa
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species: Quercus petraea

Chromosome number: 2n=24.




. Quercus robur tree, leaf and acorn, photo / pic / image.
Quercus robur / Dair ghallda (Pedunculate or common oak)
Spirally arranged leaves, with a lobed margin.
Acorns have a stem attached.
Leaves have no stalks.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species: Quercus robur

Chromosome number: 2n=24.


Quercus petraea is noted for having a less spreading habit and a taller, straighter trunk than Quercus robur.
However to truly tell these trees apart you must look at their leaves and acorns, the Pedunculate oaks acorns have stalks whereas the Sessile oaks do not.
Further to this the Pedunculate oaks leaves have little if any stalks attached whereas the Sessile oaks leaves have a stem attached.
From now on its up to you to remember which way round it is.

Oak history in Ireland
The druids and ancient Celts had many beliefs about our native oaks, chief among the Celts beliefs being that doors made of oak wood kept out evil spirits.
One of the druid's main beliefs was that carving symbols into large oak trees gave them protection from lightning.
Methinks this has more to do with a large oak tree acting like a lightning rod, diverting the electrical charge away from the druids settlements than any magical property.

Large oak trees in Ireland
Galway's largest example of our native oak is a Pedunculate oak growing in Clonbrock, Ahascragh, Ballinasloe with a girth (circumference) of 5.73 metres to a height of 27 metres.
Unfortunately, for the Galway supporters this is beaten to the title of king Irish Oak by a tree growing at Farnham Estate, Farnham, Co. Cavan, which is an amazing 28 metres tall with a girth of 8.09 metres.
Click for map if you wish to visit and view.
Some Irish woods which you can visit and view good examples of Pedunculate Oaks are...
Arrow Abbey Leix Gardens, Co. Laois, situated 1.6 km outside Abbeyleix town (Dublin/Cork road N8 ).
Arrow Charleville, Co. Offaly
Arrow St. John's Wood, Co. Roscommon

The list of The Sessile oaks within Ireland are topped by the king tree found in Baronscourt Estate, Baronscourt, Co Tyrone, it is currently 24.2 metres high with a girth (circumference) of 8.35 metres.
Click for map if you wish to visit and view.
Some Irish woods which you can visit and view good examples of Sessile Oaks are...
Arrow Killarney National Park, Co, Kerry
Arrow Glen of the Downs, Co. Wicklow
Arrow Glenveagh forest park, Co. Donegal

If you consider that these oaks can eventually grow to 40 metres in height and 3 metres in girth over a 300-year life span, you will come to realise why this tree is called "the king of the forest".

Growing the oak tree
The Pedunculate Oak grows well in moist humus rich soils whereas Sessile Oak prefers lighter free draining soils, because of this it can often be found growing on higher ground.
Even so, when planting whichever of the two oaks, do not forget to add copious amount of compost to the planting hole.
Both native oaks when mature provide a home and nourishment for an astounding range of our local fungi, insects and birds, over 400 in fact.
Unfortunately, because of their eventual size and deep / wide spreading roots our native oaks are not ideal trees for the long term within the small sized garden.
If you wish to grow the tree well, safely and for the long term you will require a large area offering the tree at least 20 metres distance from any built structure.

Growing information at a glance.
deciduous (sheds and renews leaves annually)
Slow-growing
Expected height: 25m / Expected spread: 25m over 50 years
Grow in full sun or partial shade
Soil must be deep and well-drained.
Flowers May to June
Main pests are Leaf mining moths, Aphids, Caterpillars and Oak gall wasps
Main diseases are Oak galls and Powdery mildew.


Chart shows approximate distribution of the native tree within Ireland.

Research more in your own time......
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Also try here...... Best Tree Identification Books

Any queries or comments on our Native Irish Oak Trees, please post below.


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