There are two types of oak tree, the sessile and the pedunculate. The main difference between the two is that the sessile oak does not have stalks on its acorn. The Irish Oak( quercus petraea), the National Tree of Ireland (Daire ghaelach), is sessile and grows in the Ring of Gullion area where it thrives in the higher rainfall and shallow soils that do not suit the lowland pedunculate oak. The oak is a deciduous tree , which means that it loses its leaves in autumn and can grow up to 40m tall and up to 12 m around. They can live for more than 500 years and only start to produce acorns when they are 50 – 60 years old. The oak’s leaves are broad and have 5-6 evenly shaped lobes on each side. The oak provides a home for hundreds of species of insects, birds, mammals and other plants and is an important hub of biodiversity in the region.