Oak header

What do Viking longships, Salisbury Cathedral and HMS Victory have in common? The answer is oak. It was integral in the construction of all three. More than 6000 oak trees were used in the construction of HMS Victory and substantial parts of Salisbury Cathedral are made from oak that dates back to the 13th century.

hms victory

The mighty oak tree is the national tree of numerous countries, including England and Wales. The standard bearer for strength, endurance and durability and sacred to many Gods, including Zeus and Jupiter – its importance in history and mythology cannot be overstated.

Native to the northern hemisphere, oak belongs to the genus Quercus from the beech family, Fagaceae and there are over 600 extant species of oak. It's the most common tree in the UK and oak woodlands are home to hundreds of species of insects, birds and small mammals, as well as mosses and fungi. As an oak tree ages its bark develops deep fissures that provide shelter to thousands of insects during the winter months. In autumn, badgers and deer snap up the fallen acorns to feed themselves. And while on the tree, they provide nourishment for squirrels, mice and birds.

Big Oak Tree

The timber from an oak tree is one of the hardest and most durable timbers on the planet and has been used in construction for thousands of years. Most ships were built from oak until the middle of the 19th century and in modern times it's used for architectural beams, wine barrels, flooring and, of course, high quality furniture.

Oak Beams

Oak is a dense hardwood with attractive grain patterns. It grows slowly to develop its strength and density and a tree needs to be at least 150 years old before its timber is suitable for use. Its ability to survive the colder seasons is a major factor in its longevity. During the summer months an oak tree gets all its energy from sunlight via its leaves, then as the days shorten and the temperature drops, it undergoes changes to its stem, roots and leaves in order to prepare it for autumn. Chemical messages known as hormones are sent and received and the tree begins to redistribute its resources. It breaks down pigments and nutrients in the leaves and they change colour, eventually dropping to conserve energy and water. The complex root system relies on fine fungal threads to extract phosphates and nutrients from the earth and store them. Eventually, stripped of leaves and using hardly any energy, the tree goes dormant. But there are still challenges to come. Freezing must be avoided so the tree dehydrates itself leaving behind cells high in sugars which act as a natural anti-freeze to protect it until spring when it bursts into life again.

Winter Oak

Oak can be made into all kinds of furniture that will last for years, is naturally warm and beautiful and looks better as it ages. It's also ideal for both traditional and modern homes. Oak furniture is easy to maintain – it can be stained, varnished, waxed and sanded down and refinished if it gets scratched or marked, and its imperfections and other natural markings only add to its character. Most supplies of oak come from sustainably managed forests where every tree that's used is replaced. Oak is relatively easy to process, which also lessens its detrimental impact on the environment. It's naturally self-sustaining too, dropping more acorns some years than others to discourage reliance on its bounty from animals who will then seek other sources, meaning that some of the surviving acorns can germinate and eventually grow into mighty oaks themselves.


Furniture made from solid oak is an investment. It may be more expensive than other woods but it will repay you many times over with its longevity, resilience, and timelessness. All of our oak furniture is crafted using traditional techniques such as dovetail joinery on the drawers and tongue and groove backs to ensure its strength and durability. We have furniture in various styles and everything has been finished by hand to ensure its quality. From our French-influenced Constance Oak range to the ultra-modern styling of our Cube Solid Oak range, oak is the ideal material to bring warmth, luxury and style to your home and we're sure you'll find just what you need among the ranges on our website. Take a look.

Earlswood Oak range

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