Oak also scientifically referred to as Quercus Lithocarpus. It is a tree or shrub that is mostly found in the northern hemisphere. The Oak tree belongs to the genus Quercus of which it compromises over 600 different species of trees. Most of the species of the oak tree are deciduous with only a couple of evergreen forms. The oak tree can survive in forests with different climates and weather. They adapt quickly to their environment and the conditions. Despite their hardiness in nature, they are prone to fungal diseases that may cause it to rot in the inside parts. They are also prone to insect attacks, and they are nowadays classified as endangered.
There are two main categories of the oak tree, white oak, and red oak. The white oak takes one year to reach maturity while the red oak takes two years. Another indicator of the two oak trees that can be used to differentiate them is the shape of the leaves. The leaves of the red oak normally come to a point at the end of each lobe, while the lobes of the white oak leaves are rounded. The terms Red and White designations are commonly derived from the general color of the bark of mature trees. The leaves on the trees are entirely different. There are also distinct differences in pores of the wood grain.
Red Oak Group
- Black oak.
- Pin oak.
- Red oak.
- Sawtooth oak.
- Scarlet oak.
- Shingle oak.
- Shumard oak
White Oak Group
- Bur Oak.
- Chestnut oak.
- Chinquaqin oak.
- English oak.
- Swamp White Oak.
- White oak.
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- They are usually large. They can reach 70 feet in height and 9 feet in width. Their branches can reach 136 feet in length.
- They have leaves that can be lobed, serrated or flat on the edges. Certain species have leaves with bristles.
- They separately have both male and female flowers. The male flowers are arranged in clusters called catkins, but the female flowers are much smaller.
- Young acorns, leaves, and buds contain tannic acid which induces toxic effects in cattle. The tannic acids usually induce the formation of ulcers in the stomach.
- It has very hard wood which is commonly used in the manufacture of furniture or floorboards of ships.
- It is also utilized in the production of barrels for storing of wine, brandy, whiskey and other liquors.
- It is a national symbol of many countries such as England, Germany, France and Poland.
- It is also a home for many animals and birds since it is a big and huge tree it is a natural habitat for many.
- The oak tree also produces fruits which are called the Acorn, the production of acorns in the industry started years ago.
Most species of oak trees have lived for a long time. They can survive for over a thousand years from the reign of kings. That is why they say “as old as an oak’.