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Sessile Oak

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Oak, Sessile
Quercus petraea

A statuesque deciduous tree with domed shape, native to mainly acid soils in woodlands throughout western, central and south east Europe and south west Asia. Good as a specimen tree, and attractive to wildlife.
Friendly for Bees
Friendly for Birds
Friendly for Butterflies

Availability: In stock

From: £2.74

Oak, Sessile is available for purchase in increments of 25


Root Type Supplied Size Density Availability Unit Price Qty
Bare Root 40-60cm 3-5 / m In Stock
From £2.74
Bare Root 60-80cm 3-4 / m In Stock
From £2.88

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From: £2.74

One of our two large native species of oak, Quercus petraea differs from Q. robur (English Oak) in that its leaves are larger with longer stalks, and its acorns sit directly on the twig. Its leathery dark green leaves are less often attacked by insects, so it appears more ornamental. It also has a faster growth rate than Q. robur, and is often considered to be a better shaped tree, with a longer, narrower trunk. Foliage turns orange brown in autumn. It is the official national tree of Ireland.

Planting Position
Ideal for exposed coastal places and poor soils. Good alternative to English Oak in damper soils. Any type of soil except shallow and poorly drained sites. Any aspect. Full sun or part shade.

Growth Rate: Slow
Final Height: 20 to 40m
Final Spread: More than 8m

Foliage & Flowers
Insignificant male catkins and female flowers in spring, stalkless acorns in autumn. Dark glossy green leaves with wavy lobes, more shallowly lobed than Q. robur, with distinctive yellow stalks.

Plant Interest
Oaks give more support to wildlife than any other of our native trees. They provide a habitat for more than 280 species of insect, which are in turn food for birds and other predators. The bark also provides a habitat for mosses, lichens and liverworts, and deadwood cavities for nesting birds and roosting bats. The acorns are eaten by a number of birds and mammals including jay, badger and red squirrel. Oak flowers and leaf buds are the food plants of the caterpillars of Purple Hairstreak butterflies. The soft leaves break down easily in autumn and form a rich leaf mould beneath the tree, supporting beetles and numerous fungi, such as the Oakbug Milkcap. Hole nesting birds, particularly the Pied Flycatcher, are associated with Sessile Oak, feeding on the abundant insect life supported by the tree. The tree sometimes has good autumn colour. This tree can reach a great age – up to 700 years – and as it ages the trunk tends to become hollow, offering shelter for animals, insects and birds.

Landscape Use
Planted for shelter, timber and ornament. The majestic shape makes this a good specimen tree in parkland or a large garden.

Sessile Oak was once heavily coppiced for fuel, and the bark was used for tanning. The wood is hard, tough and durable, even under water, and is used for furniture, construction and shipbuilding. It is also used in charcoal production.

Planting may be carried out at any time between early-November and mid-May.

Planting Willow and Poplar Setts / Cuttings

The cuttings are quick and easy to plant. They are provided with a slanted cut at the base and a straight cut at the top to make insertion into the ground easier and distinguish top from bottom. They can simply be pushed into loose cultivated soil and firmed in. They will need no support. In firmer soils simply make a vertical slit with a spade and push the cutting to the bottom of the slit and firm well by treading. Alternatively a narrow hole may be made with a bar or spike and the cutting pushed to the bottom and firmed well. For larger-scale planting schemes, a mole-plough or subsoil blade may be pulled through the ground in rows and the cuttings simply pushed into the loosened soil slit and firmed in by foot.

In order to get strong root development, you must ensure there is sufficient length below the soil level. The smallest cuttings (30cm / 1ft) must be planted so that only 5cm (2") is showing above ground. This makes them vulnerable to being smothered by weeds and grass before they get away, and so they are only suited to situations where they will receive a high standard of care in the early days. The two foot long cuttings (60 cm) are planted so that half is in the soil. Being larger they contain greater reserves of energy and grow away faster. In most situations the 60cm (2ft) cuttings are the best option and will produce a tree, if looked after, of 180-240cm (6 - 8ft) high in the first growing season.

All the cuttings are vulnerable to surrounding competition and often the reason for failure is down to the freshly planted cuttings having to compete with existing vegetation in the early stages, whilst they are trying to grow new roots. It is always best to clear the area of any existing vegetation where possible and keep control of this during the first 18 months in order to give the plants the best chance of success.


Planting Bare Root Whips and Hedging

Bare root plants can planted by notch or pit planting methods. For more information, please download this helpsheet.

Planting bare root whips and hedging help sheet


The decision on whether to plant rooted trees and/or which size of cuttings will depend on:

      - How easy a job you want planting to be

      - How well you will look after your trees 

      - Your soil type and site

      - How quickly you need results


All sizes of cutting root equally well.

The smallest one foot long (30 cm) cuttings must be planted so that only 2 inches (5 cm) is showing above ground. This makes them vulnerable to being smothered by weeds and grass before they get away, and so they are only suited to situations where they will receive a high standard of care in the early days. The two foot long cuttings (60 cm) are planted so that half is in the soil. This means that the new growth starts above weed and grass height. Being larger they also contain greater reserves of energy and grow away faster. 

In most situations the 2 foot long (60 cm) cuttings are the best option and will produce a tree, if looked after, of 6 - 8ft high in the first growing season.

On dry sites such as sands and gravels, or on banks, we would suggest that you plant a longer cutting and insert a larger proportion into the soil. Both the hybrid willows and poplars have the ability to make roots from any part of the stem and so, if planted deeply, will produce deep roots, which will always find moisture. 

The rooted trees and longer cuttings will cope better with difficult conditions and weed or grass competition to give instantly visible results.

Further information on rooted or unrooted plants can be found here.


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Our bare root plants and cuttings are delivered between November and May (specific dates cannot be guaranteed) but we do encourage early planting for the best results.


Most orders are dispatched within 3-5 working days where stocks are available. If they are not available at the time of order you will be notified and an alternative delivery date discussed with you. 

Our e-Gift Vouchers will be sent out within 24 hours of order.

We ship to mainland UK and the Isle of Wight (although surcharges may be incurred in some more remote areas – see below). Our orders are generally sent out using a national courier but for local deliveries, we may use our own couriers. Orders can also be collected from the nursery by prior appointment and we are more than happy for you to do this if you prefer. 

Our standard delivery charge is £15 plus VAT. This is for a next day delivery service in areas where this is available (i.e. mainland UK). For some of our products, such as seeds and planting accessories, the delivery charge is £4.95 + VAT. Our e-Gift Vouchers do not incur a delivery charge (please select 'Free Shipping' at the Checkout). For further information about Delivery, please click here.

There's usually no need to wait in for a delivery, our couriers will leave it in a safe place for you. If there is somewhere in particular you would like it left, please let us know at the time of ordering.


It is important to look after your trees as they mature so now click on After-Planting Care for some useful guide-lines.