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Oak Tree

Oak Tree
An English oak tree, Leicestershire © ImageState / Alamy

The oak has always been seen as the national tree of England. Its great height, age and strength made it the king of the English forest, and a symbol of endurance.

The oak's sturdy timber was used to build the frames of houses, barns and halls, and the ships of Francis Drake and Horatio Nelson - the "heart of oak" celebrated in the official march of the British Navy. The tree was also sacred to the Druids and the Anglo-Saxons, and it sheltered an English king, Charles II, when he was on the run from his enemies.