The Red Oak makes a very large broad-headed tree. There is a fine example locally, hidden away in Apley Woods.
Often exceeding 30M in height, and with a tendency to throw out long, low, sturdy horizontal branches.
As can be clearly seen in this image, its large dark green leaves are sharply lobed. And whilst the leaf shape suggests that it is an Oak leaf, it is much larger than our English Oak, whose leaves have rounded lobes.
Following the flush of leaves in early Summer, bunches of drooping Catkins appear, bringing the promise of the acorns to follow.
Throughout the Summer months, the Acorns slowly develop, becoming more evident as time moves on. Notice how shallow and chunky the cup is, and how they share a stalk with others. Quite different to our two Native Species, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea.
A glimpse of Autumn Leaves against a backdrop of the bark of a young tree.
A major reason for growing many of the trees that we have become familiar with is so that we can enjoy the ‘Wow Factor’ that their autumn leaf colours can give us. Whilst nobody can deny the beauty of a Flowering Cherry in the Springtime, some of the finest displays are there to be seen in Woodlands and Parks across the Country during the Autumn.
And once all of the show is finally over for another year, the simple winter silhouette quietly endures through the gales and cold, ready to perform another miracle next year.