The Place of Home

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He had walked very quickly uphill through ferns and hawthorn bushes, startling deer and wild birds, to a place crowned by a single oak tree. It was very high, so high indeed that nineteen English counties could be seen beneath; and on clear days thirty or perhaps forty, if the weather was very fine.

Orlando Virgina Woolf 1928

Quercus robur – English Oak In England the oak has for centuries been synonymous with strength and longevity. It remains the most common tree in our forests. Oaks produce one of the hardest and most durable timbers on the planet; its Latin name, Quercus robur, means strength. It can take up to 150 years before an oak is ready to be used as a construction material; its strength and longevity make it an ideal material to build the frames of houses. But it is also renowned for its use in furniture. A large, deciduous tree with a broad crown of strong branches, it flowers in mid spring in the form of catkins and the acorns that follow ripen in autumn. The most recognisable feature of English oak is its leaves; 4-5 deep, smooth edged lobes on either side with two smaller ones where it joins the stalk. Quercus robur naturally live for many centuries and support the largest number of different life forms of any British tree. Over 300 lichens and 400 insect species live on or within the oak tree which along with the acorns provide valuable food for

SE23 2014