English Oak : Overview

English Oak, Sherwood Forest

The Major Oak. Harris, D. (2009)

Stately, majestic and proud, Quercus robur has been capturing the imaginations of men for thousands of years. This beautiful tree grows throughout Europe and Northern Africa. It has great cultural significance in England in particular which gives the tree its common name, the English oak. When the English were settling North America in the 1700s, they brought the English oak with them and it quickly grew attached to the climate of  the Northeastern portion of the United States. Thus the English oak came to America to stay. 

The English oak grows to be very tall (around 70 feet on average) and has a distinctive wide spreading crown with a short trunk, making it an excellent climbing tree, and it can live for hundreds of years.  Perhaps it is this connection with the tree that has inspired humans to include the tree prominently in their stories. Prominent British authors Tolkien and Shakespeare featured the tree in their works and there are many local legends about English oaks growing all over Great Britain. Many painters have chosen the English oak when painting trees in this region.