Garden Action

The premier gardening information source

Sessile Oak (quercus petraea)


The leaf of the Sessile Oak, quercus petraea
Sessile Oak, click to enlarge.

Quercus petraea is commonly known as the Sessile Oak. The word "sessile" means without stalk and refers to the acorns which cluster very close to the branches without any stalk.

Sessile Oak (quercus petraea)
Quercus petraea is one of only two oaks which are native to the British Isles. It has a long and relatively slender stem when compared to the Common Oak. The sessile Oak also has branches which form a fan shape when fully grown.

It can reach heights of 40m (130ft) in the correct conditions. It prefers the poorer soil of the northern areas of the UK. Similar to the Common Oak, the Sessile Oak has ideal wood for construction and furniture.

Leaf of quercus petraea, Sessile Oak.

The leaves of the Sessile Oak can be distinguished from those of the Common Oak because they are held on long stems. Click the left hand picture to see this more clearly.

bark of the Sessile Oak

Although the bark is unremarkable and not particularly useful for identification, the stem of the Sessile Oak is much more slender in comparison to its lookalike the Common Oak.

The Sessile Oak is also distinguished by a long length of bare stem before the branches spread out in a fan-like shape.


As mentioned above, the acorns of the Sessile Oak are held very tight into the branches with almost no stem. The acorns grow to about 2.5cm (1in) long and are cup is scaly.