In class, I asked my students if they had heard of 신갈나무, but none of them had. I then asked them if they had heard of 참나무, and all of them had. Actually, 참나무 is not any particular tree; it is a genus name, but Koreans usually use it to refer to at least six species of oak. In other words, a Korean would probably look at a 신갈나무 and call it a 참나무.
According to Forest Korea, there are essentially six kinds of oak that Koreans commonly refer to as 참나무:
- 갈참나무 oriental white oak
- 굴참나무 cork oak; oriental oak
- 떡갈나무 daimyo oak
- 상수리나무 sawtooth oak
- 신갈나무 Mongolian oak
- 졸참나무 (The Latin name is) Quercus serrata
Seven Korean Trees You Definitely Need to Know
- 소나무 (pine) Koreans love their shape and needles.
- 참나무 (oak) Koreans love their acorns (도토리).
- 은행나무 (ginkgo) Koreans love their leaves on sidewalks.
- 느티나무 (zelkova) Koreans love their shade.
- 밤나무 (chestnut) Koreans love their nuts.
- 벚나무 (cherry) Koreans love their blossoms.
- 버들 (willow) Koreans love their buds (버들눈).