Example photos only. Size, stem height and habit may vary.
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QUERCUS PETRAEA – Sessile Oak
Sessile oak is a native tree most common in woodlands in the north and west of the UK. A close relative of the English oak (Quercus robur), sessile oak is distinguished by the fact its acorns sit directly on twigs (sessile means stalkless) in clusters, rather than being held individually on stalks. The leaves are also somewhat more regular in shape compared to the English oak (which has very bulbous lobes and two lobes right at the base of the leaf), and the tree is less spreading, with straighter branches.A large, deciduous tree, sessile oak may reach 20-30m tall. It grows better on
poorer and more acidic soils than English oak, but does not like waterlogged
soil. The timber has traditionally been used for barrels.
Oak is a fantastic tree for wildlife. The acorns are popular with squirrels,
badgers, wood mice and jays, and the hollows in old trees are perfect roosts
for birds and bats – including rare types. Some 2,000 species are supported by
oak in some way, and research suggests 300+ species rely specifically on oak
for survival, like the purple hairstreak butterfly and the dark-crimson
underwing moth. The canopy allows some light through, encouraging ground flora.
Where to grow
Sessile oak prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade and poorer, drier soils than English oak. It does not like wet or compacted soils.
Did you know?
While the English oak tolerates temporary flooding and is found growing in damp valleys, Q. petraea prefers well-drained, rockier sites on slopes and hilltops. Its Latin name reflects this – petraea means ‘of rocky places’.
- Very Large - 20 metres+
- 20+ metres
Shape / Habit
- Broad headed
- All soil types
- Full sun
- Partial shade
Difficulty / Hard to Grow
Evergreen / Deciduous
- Late to leaf
- Parkland Tree
- Encourages wildlife
- Good Firewood
- Timber producing
- Sound Barrier
Native / Naturalised
Sessile oak does not require any routine pruning, but take out dead, diseased or damaged branches in winter.
For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.
The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water. It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree. In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.
One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass. When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree. It is vital that for at least 3 years after planting your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one metre wide completely free of grass.
- Mulch mats are an effective way to stop grass and weeds, although they will require a careful eye to make sure they continue to work. After clearing the ground around the tree, firmly fit the mat by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this. Be careful not to allow the woodchip to touch the stem as it can cause rot.
- Weed killer is very effective, however it is harmful to the environment. Organic weed killers usually do not kill roots. Weed killer needs to be applied each year for the first 3 years, preferably when the tree is dormant, or just once before applying a mulch mat.
- Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem. Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.
If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree. Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm. The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots. Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.
Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.
- 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
- 100/125, 125/150 1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
- 150/175 1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
- All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.
Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping. These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens. Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.
Protection from Animal Damage
Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees. Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge. Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.
Are the delivery costs the same no matter how many plants I order?
Yes the delivery costs are the same no matter how many plants you have on your order. They are worked out based on your distance from our nursery and can be found here.