Hainault Forest Website

Tree identification

English Oak (Pedunculate oak)  Quercus robur

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Oak twig with a cluster of buds at the tip

Female flowers

Oak catkins or male flowers

Leaf showing lobes and tiny or absent stalk.

Leaf amongst the litter

Acorns on stalks

Bole deeply fissured

 

 

ENGLISH or PEDUNCULATE OAK  Quercus robur

English oak grows throughout the forest on all the soil types. The crown is large and spreading and the branches twist and turn. The bole is deeply fissured. The tannin from the bark was used locally for tanning leather and on several occasions in the eighteenth century quantities of oak of varying quality from Hainault Forest was purchased by the navy for ship building. Oak of all ages from scrub to mature can be found and they support a vast array of wildlife - mammals, birds, insects and other invertebrates - in total more than any other species of tree.  In spring the leaves may be eaten by defoliating caterpillars and later the terminal buds may produce further growth known as Lammas growth which gives rise to the twisting of the branches. In hot summers the leaves may succumb to a mildew. Many invertebrates induce gall formation and many examples can be found on the Oak gall page. In 2004 few acorns matured as many had knopper galls A magnificent old oak stands as a boundary marker, next to the LCC boundary post on the top of Crabtree Hill, the highest part of the forest. It can be found by walking along Dolneats Lane or Cavill's Path to the cottages in the forest and then walk up Crabtree Hill, from which lovely views of Havering Park and Havering atte Bower  can be seen.

 

Oak near Angel car park and picnic area in January