As the countryside begins to turn green again in spring one of the major reasons is the bright green leaves coming out on our most common tree in Dorset, the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur). As well as the lovely leaves they produce catkin-like tassel flowers. No wonder spring can be a difficult time for hayfever sufferers who are allergic to tree pollen!
Much more common than the sessile oak, the pedunculate Oak has its leaves and its acorns on 'pendules' or short stalks. This is missing on the Sessile Oak. In any event in Dorset the sessile oak is very scarce, usually occurring only where it has been planted whereas the pedunclate oak can be found almost everywhere except on our heathland and our coastal downs.
Complete books have been written about the British oak, it was used to build the ships of the navy that put the great into Britain! "Heart of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men"; the regimental march of the Royal Navy. If books have been written about the oak what can I say in 200 words other than over 1,000 insects live and thrive on our oaks? Probably only that if you want to know more read one of the books!