About Oak Tree
An oak is a Tree or Shrub in the genus of the beech family, Fagaceae. The genus Quercus has about 600 species of oaks.The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic. The second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species.
Oak trees are usually large in size. They can reach 70 feet in height and 9 feet in width. Their branches can reach 135 feet in length. One of the biggest oaks is located in Goose Island State Park. This oak is 45 feet tall, 35 feet wide, with crown that has 90 feet in diameter.
Oaks produce both male and female flowers. Male flowers are arranged in clusters called catkins. Female flowers are much smaller. Fruit of the oak is called acorn. Production of acorns starts at the age of 20 to 50 years. Oaks produce more than 2000 acorns every year, but only one in 10 000 acorns will manage to develop into oak tree.
Oak trees are built strong, allowing them to live for hundreds of years. Oaks are important in many societies. In some parts of the world, people grow coppices, or small forests, of oak trees that they harvest, or gather, as a crop. They cut down the young trees every 15 to 30 years and use the wood for fires to heat their homes and cook food. The harvested oaks, which have stored energy, or strength, down in their roots, sprout again and form many new, thin branches.Oak trunks, the trees’ thick main stems, store water for use during dry periods. Oaks send up new sprouts from their roots if they are burned down or eaten by animals.
Acorns are rich in protein, carbohydrates, fats and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and potassium. The nutrient content in acorns differs across species. Birds and animals consume acorns. Mammals such as pigs, bears, and deer consume a lot of acorns. Oak trees are highly valued. In recent times, oak woodlands are on the decline. Conservation of oak trees is necessary to sustain wildlife in the forest and maintain a balance of nature's ecosystem.