Sessile oak

Sessile Oak

©Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Sessile Oak

©Phil Champion

Sessile oak

Scientific name: Quercus petraea
The Sessile oak is so-called because its acorns are not held on stalks like those of the familiar English oak. It can be found in woodlands mainly in the north and west of the UK.

Species information


Height: 20-40m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The Sessile oak is a tall tree that can mainly be found in semi-natural woodlands, especially in the north and west of the UK. It is so-named because its acorns are not held on stalks like those of the English (Pedunculate) oak, but are attached directly to the outer twigs. It can form quite dense, single-species woodlands when left to grow, but is not as ubiquitous as the English Oak in the rest of the countryside. Sessile oak timber is not as popular as that of English Oak, but is used for barrel- and cask-making, and gives wine and spirits a particular flavour.

How to identify

Oaks are our most familiar trees, easily recognised by their lobed leaf shape and tell-tale acorns. The Sessile oak is narrower than the English oak, and lacks the stalks on its acorns.


Mainly found in the north and west of the UK, particularly in the uplands.

Did you know?

The greyish bark of the Sessile oak was used in the tanning industry which produced leather.

How people can help

Our native tree species provide important links in the food chain for many animals, as well as areas for shelter and nesting. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species throughout the food chain, so look after many nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from coppicing to craft-making, stockwatching to surveying.