Botanical name: Quercusrobur

Common names: Oak, English oak, pedunculate oak


  • Large deciduous tree 20-40m tall.
  • Leaves: around 10cm long with 4-5 deep lobes with smooth edges. Leaves have almost no stem and grow in clusters.
  • Flowers: Yellow long hanging catkins which release pollen into the air
  • Fruits: acorns, 2-5cm long, with long stalks and held by cupules. As they ripen they change from green to brown. Rich food source for wildlife animals including jays, mice and squirrels.
  • Hardest and most durable timber It takes upto 150 years before oak is ready to be used in construction
  • The oak bark is very rich in tannins and has ben used to tan leather since Roman times.
  • Oak gall is an abnormal growth induced by chemicals injected by the larvae of a wasp larvae. It contains high levels of tannins. They are used to make oak gall ink.

Dying Properties

  • Colour: Pale-dark brown. With iron mordant: grey, black
  • Parts used/Foraging Season: Oak galls, bark. Acorns: Early autumn; Oak galls: Autumn-Summer