The Rock Oak Is A Regal Giant. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

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The Rock Oak Is A Regal Giant. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo
The Rock Oak Is A Regal Giant. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

Video: The Rock Oak Is A Regal Giant. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Photo

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Among large woody ones that can be used in the design of large areas, rock oak occupies a very special place. Any oaks are plants that immediately attract the eyes. But even among fellows, the rocky oak seems particularly charismatic. The large size, the extraordinary beauty of both the trunk and the crown, the aura of the ancient and impressive plant, distinguish it against the background of even large tree crops. This giant has been growing not for decades, but for centuries, and in half a thousand years it will decorate your plots as well as 10 years after it was planted.

Rock oak
Rock oak

The ancient beauty of the cliff oak

Rock, or Welsh oak (Quercus petraea), we also know under the name of sessile oak - a legendary plant and rightfully ranked among relict cultures. In nature, it forms magnificent mixed and oak forests, is an integral element of the Scandinavian and British landscapes, and is found in all reserves of the European part of Russia. This giant, whose appearance is considered standard and classic. It is difficult to imagine a full-fledged park without rock oak, but this does not prevent it from maintaining its status as an important ornamental plant for the garden. Indeed, it is very difficult to find equals in the atmosphere of woody ones. In nature, the rock oak is protected: due to the fact that animals eat its acorns, the plant does not reproduce by self-sowing and needs to be cultivated in forestry or fencing to expand its range.

Rock oaks are powerful, large trees reaching a maximum height of 30 meters. Young trees have a surprisingly regular, slender, egg-shaped crown. But the oak very quickly reveals its true character, changing its strict outlines to a rounded tent-shaped, luxurious, spreading crown, which cannot be called otherwise than picturesque. With age, the trunks become bare, the branches rise higher and higher, in the lower part, and at a considerable age, there are usually no branches in the middle. This oak seems to "make room" so that it is more comfortable to rest under it. Gradually, the olive-brown smooth bark becomes covered with fine cracks, not as deep as those of the pedunculate oak. The foliage of the rock oak makes it easy to identify this tree. Reaching 12 cm in length, oblong, obovate leaves consist of 5-9 pairs of lobes, often whole,than coarse-toothed. the longest blades are located in the middle of the plate. The leaves sit on cuttings 2 to 3 cm long; the base is not notched, but rounded or wedge-shaped.

Oak flower catkins
Oak flower catkins

But the main difference between rock oak and ordinary oak is still in the flowering and location of acorns. Earrings with nondescript flowers, and then acorns do not sit on cuttings, but on very short "legs" or even on twigs. This oak blooms in May and June, turning into light green-yellow flashes of inflorescences. The original fruits - legendary acorns - look no less interesting, albeit familiar to us. On the twigs, they seem to be hidden treasures.

Decorative forms and varieties of rock oak

Despite the beauty of the base plant, today more and more attention is attracted by decorative forms and varieties of rock oak:

  • weeping pendula, in which drooping branches form surprisingly spectacular cascades;
  • charming variegated oak variegate with dark leaves covered with white patterns;
  • the golden form of aurea, in which the yellow color of young leaves overshadows all spring "shows" in the garden (then the color changes to dark green);
  • the aureu-like shape of the rocky oak purpurea, in which the young leaves are also bright, but this time purple-red, but then turn dark green;
  • the uniquely beautiful leaves of the split-leaved form of laciniata with narrow, deep lobes that run not across, but along the leaf blade;
  • also the original oblong-leaved shape of the rocky oak oblongifolia with only three shallow lobes on the leaf blade;
  • medlar-leaved form of mespilifolia, in which the greenery really resembles medlar leaves.
Medlar-leaved form of rock oak (Quercus petraea mespilifolia)
Medlar-leaved form of rock oak (Quercus petraea mespilifolia)

Like almost any oak, the rocky one has early and late natural forms that can bloom in April and only in May, differing in terms of vegetation. Decorative forms are twice as compact as natural giants.

The use of rock oak in ornamental gardening

The rock oak is a regal, majestic and beautiful giant. And like any large representative of arboreal trees, not only rising in height with age, but also constantly increasing the volume of the trunk and the width of the crown, it is not suitable for small gardens. With one exception - pendula shape and placement as a large family tree in the corner of the lot. The influence of this magnificent tree on the garden is simply magical: the older the oaks get, the more they show their atmosphere. They attract the eye, while, despite their huge size, they do not hide the space, but give majesty, depth, scope, emphasize the colorful environment. They seem to transform the garden into a huge park or forest, miraculously changing the visual design of the site.

Rock oak is perfect for:

  • to create alleys;
  • as a single "family tree";
  • to create large arrays and groups;
  • as a background tree;
  • to create a large recreation area in the shade in large areas;
  • as an important architectural accent in large areas.

Rock oaks are some of the best woody oaks for the role of a family tree, creating highly shaded comfortable areas for relaxation. You just want to sit under old oak trees of this type, they are ideal for creating circular benches that surround the trunk.

Rock oak (Quercus petraea)
Rock oak (Quercus petraea)

Conditions required for cliff oak

It is difficult to find a woody one as unpretentious and adaptive as a giant rock oak. It is able to grow in almost any conditions, although it always achieves its greatest beauty on medium-moist or dry, medium-nutritious or fertile soils, which allow it to quickly gain height at a young age. It is a light-loving woody.

Planting a rock oak

When planting a rock oak, you need to take into account that it will quickly occupy the entire territory allotted to it. The root system grows first and in a few years the oak will take over the soil it needs for hundreds of years of cultivation. Whereas the crown will grow for decades to come.

The younger the seedling, the more strictly you need to select the timing of planting. It is better to replant young specimens and seedlings of rock oak as early as possible in the spring, so that the adaptation of the root system is completed even before the buds swell and the leaves open. Before transplanting in plants older than 2 years, the seeds obtained from the seeds shorten the central root to 15-20 cm from the location of the acorn (even in the second year, its remains are still very clearly visible). For annual seedlings and cuttings oak trees, shortening is not carried out. Without shortening, oaks can be transferred to a new place only with complete preservation of the root system.

The oak is planted in holes corresponding to the size of the root system. On wet soils, a thick layer of drainage must be laid at the bottom of the planting pit (but not more than 20 cm). The root collar of an oak tree should be flush with the soil (taking into account precipitation).

Rock oak in autumn
Rock oak in autumn

Cliff oak care

In fact, only young plants need care, and especially only rooted cuttings and seedlings. It is better to protect young plantings from weeds and carry out maintenance watering during a long drought. Without such care, the sprouts will develop slowly. A month and a half before the standard terms of leaf fall, even for weak oak trees, watering is stopped, because the plant may not prepare well for wintering. To accelerate development, you can envisage 1 feeding with full mineral fertilizers per year, but usually they are not needed by the rock oak even at a young age. After 3-4 years of age, oaks are not watered or fed, weeding, mulching or planting of ground cover is used only as aesthetic measures.

Oak oak wintering

This type of oak is considered less hardy than ordinary oak, but this statement applies only to young seedlings. In the first two years of cultivation in regions with harsh winters, it is better to protect the oaks at least by hilling and mulching, stabilizing the temperature. It is better to protect single seedlings in the first winters with any covering material or spruce branches. With age, oaks become super hardy.

Oak leaves
Oak leaves

Pest and disease control

Oak, despite all its relict nature, does not belong to the most persistent garden trees. Young trees often suffer from powdery mildew. Adult oaks are susceptible to necrosis, cancer ulcers, vascular diseases, rot, but most often gall midges are found in the rock oak - yellowish balls, up to 1 cm in diameter, similar to berries, develop on the leaves, hiding gall larvae or insects. When signs of disease appear, it is better to immediately start prophylactic spraying with insecticides and fungicides.

Propagation of rock oak

This oak can also be grown from seed. They remain viable only until the spring of next year, and do not tolerate storage in room conditions and a dry environment. Pre-treatment is reduced to drying the seeds for a week after harvesting and storing them in a cool, humid environment. Check acorns before sowing. Outwardly it is impossible to detect their quality. For testing, several acorns are opened, checking to see if they contain live, yellow or red-yellow embryos. You can test the seeds of rock oak and soak in water (dead acorns float). To simplify the process, the method of collecting sprouting acorns is rarely used immediately after collecting snow, which makes sure to get live seeds. In this case, it is better to plant the acorns immediately, rather than store them in conditions of high humidity and coolness.

Rock oak acorns on a branch
Rock oak acorns on a branch

You can sow the seeds of rock oak either shortly after harvesting, or by keeping them in moist sand until spring planting (at a temperature of about 0 degrees or slightly higher). It is better to sow in open soil (germination rate up to 90%), deepening by 5-6 cm for autumn planting and 2-3 cm for spring planting and ensuring uniform moisture before germination. When sowing fresh acorns in autumn, planting is carried out before the first frost and always before the snow. Spring - immediately after the snow melts and the soil thaws. Rock oak acorns are best placed in furrows at a distance of 20-25 cm between rows, spreading less often, with a distance of about 7-10 cm between seeds. Acorns are pressed into the soil, covered with earth from above without compaction. There is no need to be afraid of the absence of signs of growth: first, a powerful taproot develops in the oak, and only then - the stem.Therefore, the germination process itself takes more than a month, and it can stretch for a much longer period. Seedlings can be transferred to a permanent place at one year of age, but it is better to grow on ridges until the second year, transfer them to schools for a year to obtain more compact roots and then plant them in a permanent place.

You can propagate rock oak and cuttings. After treatment with a growth stimulant in standard greenhouse conditions, no more than? all cuttings, but plants develop faster than those obtained from seeds.

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