Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Quercus robur 

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah - December-January

Common name English oak, pedunculate oak, French oak
Scientific name Quercus robur L.
Family  Fagaceae

Genus: Quercus - Latin: oak tree

Species: robur -  Latin: strength, in reference to the timber

Distribution Native to most of Europe, parts of North Africa and to areas at the western border of Asia.
Native habitat It is widespread as it can accommodate most soil types though it prefers heavy, fertile soils. pH range is also wide and occasional wet or dry spells can be tolerated.
Description A deciduous shade tree. The leaves have lobed edges and a short peduncle or leaf stalk. Quick growth to 20 metres is a feature in the south-east, temperate areas of Australia where this tree features in parks and streets, though the autumn display is modest.
Flowering/fruiting Very small male and female flowers are produced with the new leaves in spring and the acorns, the fruit, ripen in autumn.


The Brunet Oak Lawn, Bed GD149, below the Residence Garden.


The two featured trees can be admired in a favourite picnic lawn area with special significance for this garden. They stand either side of a now faint road intended to lead to a new house planned, but never built, by Alfred and Effie Brunet, who so generously donated the land used for this botanic garden, opened in 1987. Alfred trained as a Horticulturist in his native France and Effie purchased the Tomah land in 1934 as a cool-climate location for their Sydney-based cut-flower business. The upper oak was planted by Effie Brunet's mother, Mrs Elizabeth Ellen Silvester [nee Thomas], and the lower, by Alfred Brunet's father, Monsieur Henri Brunet, who visited Australia with his wife between 1945 and 1950.

Most cool-climate nurseries can source these trees.