English oak is a species of European hardwood that can live to be 300 to 500 years old.
The oak is an historically dominant species in Western European forests. You would therefore expect the oak to maintain its position when a forest is left to grow naturally. This, however, is not the case. Oak trees need light to germinate and grow into a tree. In a 'natural' forest without large herbivores, the oak loses the fight for light. A shade-loving species like beech can fill the gaps more easily. In addition to English oak, the park is also home to Durmast or Sessile oak.
This oak is less light-loving than its English counterpart. It can grow in shaded areas under more humid conditions. The leaves of a Durmast oak have shallower and more even lobes than that of an English oak with symmetrical leaves. The leaves of the Durmast oak are often much longer: 10 to 29 mm compared to 2 to 8 mm on the English oak. The acorn cupules on English oaks have long stalks, whereas Durmast acorns have short stalks or no stalks at all.
Acorns are mainly spread by the Eurasian jay or the wood mouse. The Eurasian jay is responsible for long-distance dissemination up to several kilometres, while the wood mouse is responsible for dissemination within the forest with a range of up to 50 metres.