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Quercus

Sessile oak

12 March 2020

Sessile oak (Quercus petraea, formerly called Quercus sessiliflora) belongs to the Fagaceae family.

 

Its natural area of geographic dispersion corresponds to the continent of Europe, from Spain to western Russia (Crimea and North-West Caucasus).

 

Deciduous tree, sessile oak can be up to 50 meters. Sessile oak acorns are mostly in pairs or clusters and have very short stalks (contrary to the pedunculate oak with long stalk). The leaves have a long stalk and usually don’t have earlobes at the base. The edges of the leaves merge gradually into the stalk and its “earlobes” are less pronounced than pedunculate oak leaves.

 

In France, sessile oak is present in every departments from the sea level to 1.750 meters in altitude. Sessile oak covers 1,8 million hectares (12% of the total forest area) and represents 246 millions m3 of standing wood.

 

The growth of the sessile oak is slower than the growth of the pedunculate oak and its growth rings are closer and more regular. Analyses which have been published to date on green wood suggest that sessile oak contains more aroma, in particular lactose and eugenol (clove), but less ellagitannins than pedunculate oak.

 

Finally, more resistant to dry periods and to high heat, sessile oak seems to be in a better position than pedunculate oak to resist global warming.

 

 

Picture 1: Botanical drawing © Rights Reserved

Picture 2: Sessile oak acorns © Christophe Deschanel

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