Oak Tree Facts



  • Oaks are a group of over 450 different trees. Most belong to a family with the Latin name Quercus.
  • Quercus oaks grow in the northern half of the world in temperate regions or high up in the tropics.
  • Southern oaks, such as the Australian and Tasmanian oaks, don’t actually belong to the Quercus family.
  • Most oaks from warmer places, such as the holm oak, are evergreen.
  • When a nail is driven into freshly cut oak, it creates a blue stain as tannin in the wood reacts with the iron.
  • Tannin from oak bark has been used for curing leather for as long ago as the days of ancient Greece.
  • Oaks have leaves with four or five pairs of lobes. They grow fruits called acorns in a little cup.
  • Oak trees can live a thousand years or more and grow up to 40 m. In Europe, oaks are the oldest of all trees.
  • Oak wood is very strong and durable and so was the main building wood for centuries — used for timber frames in houses and for building ships.
  • Oak trees are divided into white oaks such as the English oak and red oaks like the North American pine oak. The color refers to the color of their wood.