Rock Oak - Royal Giant
Among the large wood, which can be used in the design of large areas, rocky oak has a very special place. Any oaks are plants that immediately attract the eye. The large sizes, the extraordinary beauty of both the trunk and the crown, the aura of an ancient and impressive plant distinguish it against even large tree crops. This giant does not grow for decades, but centuries, and after five hundred years it will decorate your plots as well as 10 years after its planting.
The ancient beauty of rocky oak
Rocky, or wales oak (Quercus petraea), we also know under the name Oak Sagittarius - a legendary plant and quite rightly reckoned with relict crops. In nature, it forms magnificent mixed and oak forests, is an integral element of the Scandinavian and British landscapes, is found in all reserves of the European part of Russia. This giant, whose appearance is considered a reference and classic. It is difficult to imagine a full-fledged park without rocky oak, but this does not prevent it from maintaining the status of an important ornamental plant for the garden. Indeed, it is very difficult to find wood equal in atmospheric conditions. In nature, rocky oak is protected: due to the fact that animals eat its acorns, the plant does not propagate by self-sowing and needs to be bred in forestry or fenced to expand its range.
Rock oaks are powerful, large trees reaching a maximum height of 30 meters. In young trees, the crown is surprisingly regular, slender, ovoid. But the oak very quickly reveals its true character, changing strict outlines to a round-hipped, luxurious, sloping crown, which cannot be called anything other than picturesque. With age, the trunks are exposed, the branches rise higher, in the lower part, and at a considerable age - usually in the middle of the branches. This oak tree, as it were, “frees up space” in order to make it easier to rest under it. Gradually, the olive-brown smooth bark becomes covered with thin, not as deep cracks as in the oak oak. Rocky oak foliage makes this tree easy to identify. Reaching 12 cm in length, oblong, obovate leaves consist of 5-9 pairs of lobes, more often whole than coarse toothed. the longest blades are located in the middle of the plate. Leaves sit on cuttings with a length of 2 to 3 cm, the base is not notched, but rounded or wedge-shaped.
But the main difference between rocky oak and ordinary oak is still in the flowering and arrangement of acorns. Earrings with plain flowers, and then acorns do not sit on cuttings, but on very short “legs” or even twigs. This oak blossoms in May and June, staining in light green-yellow flashes of inflorescences. The original fruits - the legendary acorns - look no less interesting, albeit familiar to us. On the branches they seem hidden treasures.
Decorative forms and varieties of rocky oak
Despite the beauty of the base plant, today more and more attention is drawn to the decorative forms and varieties of rocky oak:
- the weeping form of pendula, in which drooping branches form surprisingly spectacular cascades;
- charming variegated oak form of rocky 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);
- an aureu-like form of rocky oak purpurea, in which young leaves are also painted bright, but this time in purple-red, but then turn dark green;
- unique in beauty of leaves, split-leafed laciniata form with narrow, deep lobes that go not across, but along the leaf blade;
- also the original oblong oak rocky oblongifolia with only three shallow lobes on a leaf plate;
- the medlar form of mespilifolia, in which the verdure really resembles the leaves of medlar.
Like almost any oak, rocky has early and late natural forms, which can bloom in April and only in May, which differ in terms of vegetation. Decorative forms are twice as compact as natural giants.
The use of rocky oak in decorative gardening
Rock Oak - regal, majestic and beautiful giant. And like any large representative of arboreal trees, with age, not only rising to a height, 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 - the shape of the pendula and placement as a large family tree in the corner of the plot. The influence of this luxurious tree on the garden is simply magical: the older the oaks become, the more they show their atmosphere. They attract eyes and, despite their enormous size, do not steal space, but give grandeur, depth, scope, and emphasize a colorful environment. They seem to turn the garden into a huge park or forest, miraculously changing the visual design of the site.
Rock Oak is perfect:
- to create malls;
- 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 emphasis on large areas.
Rock oaks are one of the best arboreal for the role of a family tree, creating a very shaded comfortable recreation area. One wants to sit under the old oaks of this kind; they are ideal for creating circular benches encircling the trunk.
Rocky Oak Conditions
It is difficult to find a tree as unpretentious and adaptive as a giant rocky oak. It is able to grow in almost any conditions, although it always reaches its greatest beauty on medium-moist or dry, medium-nutrient or fertile soils, which allow it to quickly gain height at a young age. It is photophilous woody.
Rock Oak Planting
When planting rocky oak, you need to consider that it will quickly occupy the entire territory allotted to it. The root system grows first and in a few years the oak will capture the soil it needs for hundreds of years of cultivation. Whereas the crown will grow for decades.
The younger the seedling, the more strictly you need to choose the timing of planting. It is better to transplant young specimens and seedlings of rocky 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 bloom. Before transplanting in plants older than 2 years, the seeds obtained from the seed shorten the central root to 15-20 cm from the location of the acorn (even in the second year, its remains are still very visible). For annual seedlings and grafted oaks, shortening is not carried out. Without shortening, oaks can be moved to a new place only with the complete preservation of the root system
Oak is planted in holes corresponding to the size of the root system. On moist soils, a thick drainage layer (but not more than 20 cm) must be laid to the bottom of the landing pit. The root neck of an oak should be at the same level with the soil (taking into account precipitation).
Rock Oak Care
In fact, only young plants, and especially only rooted cuttings and seedlings, need care. It is better to protect young plantings from weeds and to carry out maintenance irrigation during a long drought. Without such care, the sprouts will develop slowly. A month and a half before the standard dates of leaf fall, even for weak oak trees, watering is stopped, because the plant may not be too well prepared for wintering. To accelerate the development, one can provide 1 fertilizing with full mineral fertilizers per year, but usually they are not needed for rocky oak even at a young age. After 3-4 years of age, oaks do not water and do not feed, weeding weeds, mulching or planting ground covers are used only as aesthetic measures.
Rock Oak Wintering
This type of oak is considered less hardy than ordinary, but this statement applies only to young shoots. In the first two years of cultivation in regions with harsh winters, it is better to protect oaks with at least earthenware and mulching, stabilizing the temperature. Single seedlings are best protected in the first winters with any covering material or spruce branches. With age, oaks become extremely hardy.
Pest and Disease Control
Oak, despite all its relictness, does not belong to the most persistent garden wood. Young trees often suffer from powdery mildew. Adult oaks are prone to necrosis, cancerous ulcers, vascular diseases, rot, but most often gall midges are found on rocky oak - on the leaves yellow-like balls with a diameter of up to 1 cm develop on the leaves, hiding gall larvae or insects. When signs of disease appear, it is better to immediately start preventive spraying with insecticides and fungicides.
Rock Oak Breeding
This oak can also be grown from seeds. They retain viability only until the spring of next year, do not tolerate storage in room conditions and in a dry environment. Pre-treatment is reduced to drying the seeds within a week after collection and storage in humid cool conditions. Before seeding, you need to check the acorns. Outwardly, it is impossible to detect their quality. To check, several acorns are opened, checking whether there are living, yellow or red-yellow embryos in them. You can check the rocky oak seeds by soaking in water (dead acorns float up). To simplify the process, occasionally apply the method of collecting germinating acorns immediately after the collection of snow, which allows guaranteed to receive live seeds. In this case, it is better to plant acorns right away, and not to keep them in conditions of high humidity and coolness.
Rock oak seeds can be sown 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 up to 90%), deepening by 5-6 cm for autumn planting and 2-3 cm in spring and ensuring uniform moisture until germination. In the autumn sowing of fresh acorns, planting is carried out before the first frosts and always before the snow. Spring - immediately after the melting of snow and thawing of the soil. Rock oak acorns are best placed in the furrows at a distance of 20-25 cm between the rows, spreading less often, with a distance of about 7-10 cm between the seeds. The acorns are pressed into the soil, covered with earth from above without compaction. It is not necessary to be afraid of the absence of signs of growth: first, a strong root root develops in the oak, and only then - the stem. Therefore, the process of germination takes more than a month, and can stretch for a much longer period. Shoots can be transferred to a permanent place at the age of one, but it is better to grow on the ridges until the second year, transferred to schools for a year to obtain more compact roots, and then planted on a permanent place.
You can propagate rocky oak and cuttings. After treatment with a growth stimulator in standard greenhouse conditions, no more rooting? of all cuttings, but the plants develop faster than those obtained from seeds.