Oak is the personification of wisdom, strength and power. In principle, biology as a science is in solidarity with this: oak trees reach enormous sizes both in length and in width. In central Russia, there are no other trees at all that exceed these giants in size. But, despite their impressive size, the flowers of these trees are rather small and inconspicuous.
Conditions for flowering oaks
Oak is a flowering tree, but the appearance of flowers on it is an infrequent phenomenon. In nature, the first flowers bloom on these trees when they reach the age of twenty, and some oaks in general can bloom only by the age of fifty. And the tree itself blooms quite late: while the birches are already dressing up in their spring foliage, the oaks are barely beginning to turn green. Often they are hampered by the cold, which so love to return at this time of the year (in April and May).
It was noticed that the oak blossoms only when its leaves are still small: at this time the trees themselves seem to be dressed in the finest green lace, which cannot but please the eye. The typical month for their flowering is May, but it all depends on the weather: if it is cold in May, the flowering of oak trees is postponed until better times. The opinion is erroneous that oak flowers should be beautiful and, most importantly, large. The flowers of this tree are small and inconspicuous.
It should be noted that in central Russia, oaks do not bear fruit abundantly, as happens in other countries with warm or temperate climates. In Russia, most of these trees bear fruit once every 5-7 years. Despite all its power and strength, fruiting for these giants is a very burdensome occupation, requiring a lot from them: their large and heavy acorns need certain nutrients.
Pistillate and staminate oak inflorescences
Oak, like other plants, has staminate and pistillate inflorescences. Stamen flowers are male, collected in peculiar inflorescences, resembling greenish-yellow catkins hanging from branches. They form whole bundles, practically no different from young leaves.
The pistillate flowers are female. Finding them on an oak tree is very difficult, and sometimes simply impossible. These are rather small flowers, about the size of a pinhead. Outwardly, the female flower resembles a barely noticeable greenish grain with a red-crimson top. They can be located either one at a time or two or three flowers at the ends of special thin stems. It is from these female flowers that acorns are formed in autumn.
These small oak flowers undergo a rather complex development from very early spring to early autumn. As soon as they bloom, the female flowers begin to grow a small, cupped wrapper, and then acorns appear. Already at the end of autumn, ripe acorns begin to fall abundantly to the ground. Their cups remain on the autumn tree. It is worth noting that acorns are not oak seeds, but fruits. This is evidenced by their appearance from the flower pistil.