Quercus Robur ‘Fastigiate Koster’ (Cypress Oak or Pyramid Oak)

Forming a tall neat spire, this is a slender deciduous oak growing to 20 x 3 metres over 50 years. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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Tall slender spire, sometimes with a proper pointy point and more often a bit flat-topped and cylindrical, this is a deciduous oak growing to 20 x 3 metres over about 50 years.

Ionic, Doric, Corinthian, Tuscan, Composite…they’re all just columns and pillars and upright tubes to us but that’s not to say we don’t respect them. We love them. They’re crucial. Whether they’re holding the pediment of your carefully dilapidated folly aloft or just upsetting your neighbours because you elevated an Ionic scroll onto a Tuscan shaft in full view of their driveway (we’ve all done it) you’ll appreciate the grandeur and structure and gravity these shapes bring to a space. And indeed, into your garden.

You need columns: all the pyramids and boules and blobberies and wedges and wodges which we meticulously compose into our planting plans are nothing without these skyward-thrusting chutes.

Columnar trees aren’t hard to find per se, but this Cypress oak variety is quite special. For it remains neat and slender and compact and can be reliably left to mature into its shape with very little, if any, intervention. Their quite densely-packed branches will ascend up and up but they are firm and will not flop. Good news for the ladder-phobic.

Very architectural, clearly, perhaps you skipped the bit about columns…we do go on rather. But they are. For defining corners or marking boundaries and inserting that crucial tube shape into a design these are marvelous. ‘Fastigiate Koster’ also has a reputation for managing reliably well in paved areas and spots with a lot of hard surfaces. Perhaps they don’t mind the heat bounce and the snug root covering that others might suffocate in but whatever, it’s something to consider for narrow avenues, driveways and the like.

And it’s hardy, too. Very easy for either an exposed or sheltered site. This tree grows on any soil from free draining to heavy clay. It seems to have less vigour and overall success on thin soil over chalk but that’s quite an Oaky sort of a thing, regrettably.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well-watered when first planted.


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