LATIN NAMEQuercus petraea
About the Sessile Oak
Reaching heights of up to 40 metres, Sessile Oak (or Common Oak) is the most frequently found species of Oak tree in Ireland. Found on less fertile and more acidic soils than its relative the pedunculate Oak, the tree is mainly found in the midlands, lowlands and around Killarney, Co. Kerry.
The Oak’s bark is grey in colour and usually marked with narrow, shallow fissures. Its leaves are about 12cm long and are oval in shape, with up to nine rounded lobes on each side. Male flowers are catkins up to 8cm long while the female flowers are borne at the end of the shoots. The fruit of the tree is, of course, the acorn and it takes several hundred years to grow to full maturity.
The Oak tree is a symbol of strength and fertility in Ireland and is considered to be the king of trees. It was considered to be sacred by the Celts and in the Brehon Laws of the 8th Century, you had to forfeit two cows if you were found guilty of cutting an Oak down. Its wood is also of good quality and has been put to many uses over the years. Found on the walk up to Cheetah Hill within Fota Wildlife Park.
Keep up with the latest from FotaRead more
Fota Wildlife Park is a not for profit organisation and a registered conservation charityRead more
Learn more about breeding programmes run cooperatively with other zoos and wildlife parksRead more