Quercus cerris

This handsome fast-growing tree is native to southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean Zone. It was introduced to Britain about the year 1735 and has now become naturalised. There are many tall specimen trees in parks, and seedlings on waste ground or woodland fringes. Several distinct features mark it out from our native kind.

The bark is rough, rougher than that of the common oaks, and deep in its fissures there are streaks of bright tangerine orange colour. The buds are surrounded by very long stipules, as shown in the winter twig picture in Figure 84. The leaves are longer and narrower than those of common oaks, with a clearer stepped outline to the lobes. Each acorn cup has a covering of soft mossy hairs.

The timber of Turkey oak is highly esteemed in Turkey itself, and is used there for a wide range of fencing and building work, and also for furniture. But as grown under the different climate of Britain it has no attractions to the user and few timber merchants accept it It shrinks to a remarkable degree and is apt to warp badly. This is unfortunate since Turkey oak grows faster than the common kinds, forms a straighter trunk, and springs up readily from self-sown acorns. Its only future is as an ornamental tree, good in city parks.

Young trees of Turkey oak retain their brown, faded leaves on their branches right through the winter; they do not fall until the fresh leaves open next spring. Other trees with this habit are the common oaks, the beech and the hornbeam; the two last-named trees are often used for hedges that remain leaf-clad right through the winter. This feature is in these last two trees only seen on low branches, up to a height of 2.5m or so, in the 'juvenile zone'. Shoots allowed to grow on hedges beyond this zone shed leaves normally back as far as the zone. Sprouts on big trees, where they are within the zone, likewise hold their dead leaves.

Physalis Branches


Fruiting twig of Turkey oak (x^). Note the remarkably 'mossy' acorn cup.


Flowering twig of Turkey oak in spring, with male catkins (life size). Note the long bud stipules.

Left: Single male flower, with bracts and four stamens (x6). Below: Female catkins, made up of two flowers with long hairy bracts and four styles apiece (x 6).

Populus Catkin BractsSilver Plated Centrepiece Winged HorseDouble Trunk Strawberry Tree

Plate 1

Field maple (Acer canrpestrel, winged seeds in matched pairs.

Place 2 Field maple (Acer cjmpestrel.

Plate 3

Norway maple [Acer paranoides), foliage.


Plate 4

Sycamore [Acer pseudoplacanus), trunk and bark.

Plate 5

Horse chestnut IAesculus hippocas-canum). in winter.

Plate 6

Alder (Ahus gkit/n-osa), in typical waterside setting.

Quercus CerrisSilver Plated Centrepiece Winged Horse

Plate 7

Strawberry tree {Arbutus utiedol flowers and fruits.


The pointed double -serrated leaves of Silver birch ¡BettiLi pcndulj i compared with the rounded single-serrated leaves of the Hairy birch {Bemk pubescensf.

Plate 0

Silver birch ¡Betula pendu/a), trunk and foliage.

Betula RubraSilver Plated Centrepiece Winged HorseQuercus Seeds

Plate 11

Box (Suxvs sempenirens). j fine specimen on chalk down land.

Plate 11

Box (Suxvs sempenirens). j fine specimen on chalk down land.

Plate 12

Hornbeam ¡Carplnus betulus), a fine specimen in summer.

Plate 13

Hornbeam (Caipinus betulus). bunches of seeds.

Quercus CerrisPlatanus Aceri

Plate 18

Holly {Ilex aquiiohum). Plate 19

Walnut (Jugfans regis), in winter.

Plate 20 London plane (Platanus x aceri-fbiia).

Plate 2 1 London plane [Platanus x seen-folia), bole and bark.

Acero Platanus BonsaiLobed And Populus And Leaf

Plate 22

Grey poplar \Populus canescens). Plate 23

White poplar (Populus alba), the silver-backed leaves turning in the wind.

Plate 2A

White poplar (Populus alba), foliage.

Plate 25 Black poplar {Papains nigra var. bemlifolia).

Plate 26 A hybrid black poplar |Populus Regenerata'),

Plate 27

Lombardy poplar [Pcpulus nigra Italica'V

Regenerata PopulusPopulus Tremula Female

Plate 2S

Black Italian poplar (Populus 'Serotina'),

Plate 29

Aspen [Populus tremula}rin summer.

Plate 30 Balsam poplar ¡Populus tricho-cat-pa), bending in the wind.

Plate 31

Comparison of poplar leaves. Top: Aspen iPopulus tremuk). and Black Italian poplar ¡Populus semana). Bottom: Grey poplar 1Populus canescens), and White poplar (Populus alba).

Populus Canescens Populus Alba
  • MW-i'.•■»<«..>.■ MM»
  • Nu* j ■

Ami J-iSfK- sis'S

Plate 32

Wild cherry or Gean (Prunus avium}, a superb specimen in flower.

Plate 33 (inset) Wild cherry or Gean ¡Finn us jvium). flowers.

Prunus Avium Autumn LeafSessile Oak Tree AutumnCatkins Sessile Oak Quercus Petraea

y Plate 36 . Sessile oak (Quercus

, peraeaj. in spring.

y Plate 36 . Sessile oak (Quercus

, peraeaj. in spring.

Plate 37

Pedunculate oak [(Juerci/s rofrur). in autumn.

Plate 3S

Red oak iQuemjs ruferaJL autumn foliage.

Plate 39

Robin la (Jtobinia pseudoacacia). in

Prunus Avium Autumn LeafWild Goat Drawings

Plate 42

Goat willow (Salix caprcai.

Plate 42

Goat willow (Salix caprcai.

Images Goat Willow Winter



Crack willow (Salix trjgilis). trees in winter.

Goat Willow Winter

Plate 44

Crack willow [Sjkx fragihsl. the light green foliage contrasts against a dark background of Monterey pine ¡Finos radijta).

Plate 45

Rowan or Mountain ash \Serbus aucuparla), a small bush in its natural setting by a Lake District streamside.

Plate 4t>

Wild service tree (Sorbus wnnmalisl bole and bark. Plate 47 linset)

Wild service tree (Scrfjus torminalis). flowers and foliage.

Quercus CerrisTilia Europea

PLaie 4S

Lime {Tilia x europea<, in winter

Plate 49

Wych elm fUlmus glabra), Plate 50

Huntingdon elm (Ulmus hollandica Vegetal, tn winter.

Huntingdon Elm Pictures Old Quercus CerrisUlrnus Glabra

Plate 51

English elm ¡Ulmus procera), in summer.

Plate 52

Cornish elm ¡Ulrnus carpinifolia var. comubiensisl.

Plate 53 Wheatley elm (Ulmus carpinifolia var. sarnlensis), in winter.


Quercus ilex

Holm oak is called after ihe old English name of 'holm' for a holly bush, and it is indeed so like a holly that it is often mistaken for one. Its leaves are dark green and leathery-textured. with an upper glossy surface, dark and shiny; the lower surface is whitish and densely hairy. Lower leaves are spine-toothed, upper are entire. These leaves are alternately set and the buds, which are rather small, are clustered near the tips of the twigs, in the typical pattern for oaks. The bark is black and rugged, being divided into small squares.

Holm oak bears male and female catkins in May in the characteristic form of all the oaks. Its acorns mature in October. They germinate fairly readily even in Britain, and at one or two places on the south coasts of England and Wales this tree has become naturalised. It is native to the Mediterranean region and its evergreen foliage reflects the climate found there. The winter is rainy but fairly warm, so evergreen leaves are needed to make good use of an unusual growing season. The summers are dry and hot. so thick, waxy foliage is required to check undue loss of moisture. s Each leaf has a life of about 4 years, and there is a steady fall of spent leaves - overshadowed by those growing further out - each autumn.

Holm oak was brought to Britain in the 16th century, but has only been planted as an ornamental tree. It is completely resistant to salt in the air. so It is often chosen for shelterbelts close to the coast. But its sombre evergreen foliage casts a very dense shade, and nothing whatsoever can be grown beneath it. During a hard winter the foliage may be scorched brown, but it resumes its green colour later. Holm oaks are very wind-firm.

The wood is very strong, hard and dense, but difficult to work. It is curiously patterned with dark brown and light brown and shows silver grain' along its rays. It is only used for decorative wood-carving, or else as firewood. The largest trees are all in the south of England, where they may reach heights of 25m and girth up to 6m. with broad spreading crowns, and live to be 250 years old.

Holm Oak Leaf


Evergreen leaves and ripening acomsof Holm oak in October (x;).


Evergreen leaves and ripening acomsof Holm oak in October (x;).


Above: Leafy spray of Holm oak, bearing male catkins in May: (life size). Below: Leaf and female catkin, also in May (life size). Top left: Single male flower, showing bracts and numerous stamens (x 10). Right: Single female flower, with bract, tupule, and four-styled pistil (X1D).

Quercus Rubra Female Flower

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  • ethel
    What kind of white oak has shaggy bark?
    9 years ago
  • Abraham
    Do broadleaves shed leaves?
    8 years ago

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