Summertime oak, Day 24, #30Days Wild

It’s nearly a month since I’ve visited my oak tree and there have been plenty of changes.  The leaves have lost their fresh spring green for one thing, and the post which I’ve been leaning on as a marker when taking regular photographs is now so smothered with willowherb and nettles that reaching it is tricky.

Wasps have hatched from the currant galls I spotted in May (see Oaks in flower) but other signs of pests and disease are now appearing.

Chlorotic (yellow) spots on the oak leaves, caused by a fungal rust of some sort

More excitingly, my tree is developing tiny acorn cups (more properly cupules), less than a centimetre across at the moment. The long stalks to which they are attached confirm to me that my tree is an English oak, Quercus robur. Because the ovary lies beneath the flower itself in oak (i.e. is inferior), the acorn initially develops inside the cupule, so it remains to be seen whether this will actually happen in my youthful tree. Watch this space!

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