Wednesday 5 October 2011
Depending on origin, the heartwood varies from light tan to biscuit or deep brown, with distinct bands of earlywood and latewood. The grain is usually straight but irregular or cross grain can occur. The texture is coarse, and rays and growth rings show an attractive figure (silver grain) when quartersawn. Fungal attack in the growing tree results in brown oak.
2. The largest on record is known as the Seven Sisters Oak. It measures 11.27 meters (37 feet and 2 inches) in circumference with a crown spread of 45.72 meters (150 feet). It is estimated that it is also more than 1,000 years old
Did you also know that â€˜The Royal Oakâ€™ is the third most popular pub name in Britain and has been the name of eight major Royal Navy warships. The oak is the most common woodland tree in England; an oak tree has been depicted on the reverse of the pound coin (the 1987 issue) and a sprig of oak leaves and acorns is the emblem of the National Trust.
Acorns were particularly considered to be able to attract prosperity (provided they were gathered by day) and the leaves, worn next to the heart, were regarded as a protection against deception (provided they were gathered by night.)
Images, from top to bottom:
1. Oak grain
2. The flowers and leaves of the oak tree provide food for various small mammals and birds
3. A pollard oak breakfast table circa 1820, with an unconventional foot design and striking finish
4. An oak table dating from the reign of Charles I
5. Elizabethan oak court-cupboard
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