Sessile oak Quercus petraea

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 – it gives wine and spirits a particular flavour.


Oaks are our most familiar tree, easily recognised by their lobed leaf shape and tell-tale acorns. The sessile oak can be distinguished from the English oak by its taller, narrower shape and by the lack of stalks on its acorns.


Height: 15-30m




More common in the north and west of the UK, particularly in the uplands.

When to see

January – December


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

Common name

Sessile oak

Species name

Quercus petraea

When to see in Scotland

January – December

Where to see in Scotland

Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves such as Castramon Wood or Stenhouse Wood

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top