Much like the common oak, the sessile or durmast oak tents to be somewhat smaller with a narrowe crown. It has a similar range, but does not extend as far east to regions with severe winters. Unlike the common oak it is a tree of the hills and is found at elevations up to 700 metres. It does not require soil as rich as the common oak, and even tolerates stony, acid soils. However, it requires plenty of light to thrive well. The durmast oak reaches a height of 30 to 40 metres, and its trunk is straighter than, but not as thick as, that of the common oak.

The flowers, appearing 10 to 14 days later than those of he common oak, resemble them, but the female flowers, unlike those of its relative, are pressed close to the twig. The mature acorns are borne on very short stalks close to the twig. They are usually smaller, and lack the longitudinal stripes when freshly shed. The durmast oak does not begin bearing fruit until a fairly advanced age, about 40 to 60 years. It grows in mixed stands with the hornbeam and beech, in poorer and more acidic soils together with the pine and birch, and on dry, warm slopes in the company of the service tree, common or field maple, and other sun-loving woody plants. The wood is of similar quality, and has the same uses, as that of the common oak.

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