Common Oak, Quercus robur, mb-fotos/iStock
Britain’s national tree the Oak supports more life than any other native tree species in the UK. Thought to be a symbol of strength the Oak tree has been used to represent British culture and nature for centuries.
As well as it’s iconic wave shaped leaves, which contribute to the reds and browns of autumn colour in woodland landscapes, the Common Oak also produces yellow catkins when in flower. You may be more familiar with acorns, frequently dropped by Oak trees at the start of autumn. You can often spot acorns being collected by animals such as squirrels, buried away for winter fuel, whilst those that don’t become Oak sprouts the following spring.
Oak trees have been sacred to many gods who were thought to rule over thunder and lightning, including the Celtic god Dagda as their height means they are frequently hit by lightning. Druids often practiced pagan rituals amongst oak trees, couples would frequently marry beneath them or carry acorns as a lucky charm and in the winter Yule logs were made from Oak branches.
Oak leaves and acorns, Quercus robur, Esa Hiltula/iStock