The majestic and iconic English Oak supports more life than any other native tree species in the UK. Up to 300 species benefit from it's presence 🌳
The are host to hundreds of insects 🐛 supply many birds with an important food source and in autumn many mammals feed on the acorns. Flower and leaf buds are the food plants of some caterpillars of butterflies 🦋 The leaves break down with ease forming a rich leaf mould under the tree supporting invertebrates 🐜 and fungi 🍄 Holes in the bark are prefect nesting spots for birds 🐦 Bats will also roost in old woodpecker holes or under loose bark 🦇 as well as feeding on the rich supply of insects in the tree canopy.
However due to the conditions required by the acorns to germinate, the English Oak requires the help of other wildlife to regenerate. Jays help with this process by taking the acorns and burying them away from the shadow of the canopy. The acorns that don't get dug up for their winter food source may then become great oaks one day 🌳
Not many of us are lucky enough the have the space to plant an English Oak in our gardens, but it you want to plant a space appropriate native tree to support wildlife, check out this article from Woodland Trust https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/03/british-trees-to-plant-in-your-garden/