I was watching Springwatch last night and I’m sure I heard Chris P say that there are between 750,000 and 1,000,000 leaves on an oak tree. Mental calculations whilst walking in Cliff Ridge Wood tonight justified that figure. Ten leaves on a spring, ten sprigs on a branch the thickness of a pencil, ten branches the thickness of a pencil on one the thickness of a finger and so on. A bit crude but hey …
But Google says a different figure for an average oak tree, 250,000. Who to believe?
What is certain is that the oak is the tree or shrub which has the greatest number of insect species associated with it – 284. Plus 139 species of mites and 324 lichen.
The oak has been long associated with the gods of many religions. Thor (Norse), Zeus (Greek), Jupiter (Roman) and Dagda (Celtic). The Druids sacrificed white bulls beneath the canopy of oak trees.