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Are There Male & Female Oak Trees?

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Oaks are members of the genus Quercus. These broadleaf hardwood trees are highly valued for the quality of their lumber and their decorative value. Like all other flowering plants, they are sexually reproducing species.

Definitions

Oak trees are monoecious, meaning that they have male and female flowers on the same plant. Unlike many other flowering plants, however, they have separate male and female flowers. The male flowers produce pollen, while the female flowers produce eggs that will be fertilized once the flowers are pollinated.

Function

Each oak tree is essentially both male and female, since it features both male and female flowers. The male flowers are small structures on stalk-like appendages called catkins; the catkins droop down from some of the branches. Female flowers are so small they are best identified with a magnifying glass. They are found on twigs near the base of emerging leaves, where they appear a week or so before the male flowers.

Effects

Oak trees are primarily wind-pollinated. The male flowers generate ample pollen to ensure that at least some of it will reach its intended targets. Although oak trees have both male and female flowers, female flowers typically are pollinated by the pollen of another tree.

Identifying Male & Female Papaya Trees

Papayas (Carica papaya) are single-trunked, temperate fruit trees that produce delicious, orange-fleshed fruits. The panicles of stamen-bearing, male papaya flowers may stretch 5 or 6 feet long. Male pollen is naturally transferred to female papaya blossoms by insects or wind. Female papaya trees bear flowers as well, but their waxy, yellowish-white flowers have stigmas and large ovaries to receive pollen from male papaya trees. Fruit matures about three months after pollination. When a male-female tree is pollinated, seeds reflect an even gender distribution between male, female and male-female trees.

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