Tree Facts – English oak trees at Compton Verney

Common Oak – a Fact Sheet from Compton Verney.

From tiny acorns….


Plant name:

Quercus robur

Commonly known as:

English oak, or Pedunculate oak.


Much of Europe, Caucasus and North Africa


A deciduous hardwood tree, with grey fissured bark. Leaves oval to oblong shaped with familiar lobed margins, up to 12cm long, arranged alternately – each leaf on a short stalk. Flowers in spring then bears those well-known acorn fruits in autumn.

An establishing oak in the east park at Compton Verney – 2013


English oak trees are to be found in many areas at Compton Verney, but the heaviest density is by far the Ice House Coppice; between the car park and the lake. Some of the oaks in the plantation are believed to date back to the eighteenth century and feature tall straight stems and shelter-giving canopies.

A Ginkgo biloba in the distance, seen between two mature English oaks.

Many new English oaks have been planted our East Park, and are noticeable at any time of year by their substantial tree guards. The locations of these trees are based on a map from 1818, which we believe shows ‘Capability’ Brown’s planting from the previous century. The original trees were removed after the second world war.

Interesting Facts:

  • Botanical Latin name Quercus robur translates as Quercus – Oak, and robur – hard/strength-wood.
  • The English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper (1616-64) excused himself the need to describe the tree, ‘It [the oak] is so well known (the timber thereof being the glory and safety of this nation by sea) that it needs no description.’ – The Trees that Made Britain, Archie Miles.
  • There are actually two native species of oak – the English oak (Quercus robur) and the sessile or durmast oak (Quercus petraea). The English Oak is also referred to as the pedunculate oak due to acorns being produced on long stalks or peduncles.
  • Oak is one of a number of trees that can produce a second flush of leaves in late summer, known as Lammas growth, which appears around the time of the first harvest festival of the year ‘Lammas Day’ on August 1st. The fresh growth is believed to replace foliage damaged by pest attack earlier in the season.
  • Oak trees are the most favoured tree by insect species, which considered alongside the tree’s attractiveness to nesting and feeding birds, bats, fungi and lichen; make even a single tree an immensely valuable ecological resource.
  • Oak Apples – or oak galls, are spherical apple-shaped growths between 2 and 5 cm in diameter. They’re created by larva of tiny gall wasps. Many types of galls exists on oak trees, one type at Compton Verney is known as the Knopper gall, caused again by tiny wasps which result in a distorted acorn.
  • Other types of oak tree to find at Compton Verney include Turkey, Luccombe and Red oaks, and two English oaks that have long vertical scars as a result of lightening strike!
Looking into the neighbouring North Park, a few oak trees that once formed wood pasture can still be seen.


Other tree fact sheets available:

Cedar Trees


The Trees that Made Britain – Archie Miles

Wikipedia – Oak Apple

Wikipedia – Quercus robur

0 thoughts on “Tree Facts – English oak trees at Compton Verney

  1. Hi

    Whilst itr nice to know what happening about the grounds what about the fishing, so far in two years I have had two small roach and nothinf else and I mean small, its a lovely place to fish and looks good to fish but I have not heard of anyone catching anything much at all.

    Is there  any info like pegs fished, species caught and tackle used etc etc.

    Perhaps the fishermen should report catches

    Regards Gordon Archer

    1. Hi Gordon,
      Many thanks for the comments. I empathise entirely concerning low catch rate, this has been reported from some quarters for some time. We have undertaken various measures to improve the situation, including Calcium Carbonate treatment and cropping, but without going on at length; we have been advised that this will take between two to three seasons before we see a real change to the angling situation. Somewhat contrary to our longer term plan, but in an attempt to make a short term gain, we have also added a small number of carp, and have plans to add some tench soon too – hopefully this will liven up the catch rate for these breeds.

      As you can appreciate, there are many things of interest happening around the grounds throughout the year, and as soon as we engage physically with the lake we’ll be sure to post something on the blog. We will however be sending out a late winter/early spring E-bulletin to the angling members, which will focus on the close of season, our work towards lake maintenance and plans for next year.
      Many thanks again, and hoping things improve soon. Gary

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