English Oak is one of the most common park trees in south-eastern Australia, noted for its vigorous, luxuriant growth. Q. robur grows very quickly to a tree of 20m tall by up to 20m broad, with a low-branching canopy. Its trunk and secondary branches are very thick and solid and covered with deep-fissured blackish-grey bark.
The foliage is small with rounded lobes—not bristle-toothed as is seen in many other oaks. The autumn foliage colour is not exceptional, and frequently is a rich, dark brown. As the foliage is small, fallen leaves are not particularly difficult to eliminate and will not clog drains.
If this species is too large or broad-spreading, possibly Q. robur ‘Fastigiata’ is a more suitable tree. This Upright English Oak may grow to 30m in time, but most typically grows to 15-20m tall by 6-8m broad. Like the species, it is strong-wooded, with small leaves. The autumn foliage colour is similar to the species.
Q. robur grows best in free-draining organic soils with fortnightly summer irrigation, but will tolerate many soil types. In ideal sites it will grow at least 1000mm per year, and will become a grand tree within two decades. On compacted sites, English Oak will grow more slowly, but will still develop into a majestic, strong-wooded tree.
Q. robur and its cultivars can suffer from Powdery Mildew, but this condition seems to be only slightly detrimental to the overall growth of these trees. Oak Blotch Miner can also be problematic, but nowhere as unattractive as withQ. cerris.
Typical mature height: 20m
Useful in: wide areas for the broad canopy
Sites for best growth: most sites