Holm oak16 July 2020
Holm oak (Quercus ilex, “holly oak”), also know as Evergreen oak, belongs to the Fagaceae family. Its Latin name comes from the similarity of its leaves with the holly leaves.
Evergreen tree, Holm oak high is between 5 and 20 meters and its lifespan is between 200 and 500 years. Its trunk is short and twisted and its canopy is ample and round. Leaves are small, with variable shapes and with a short petiole. Acorns are housed in cupulas with grey hairy scales.
Natural area of geographic dispersion
Its natural area of geographic dispersion extends in the Western part of Mediterranean basin, from North Africa to the South of Europe: Albania, Algeria, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Libya, Macedonia, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, former Yugoslavia. Its presence in the Eastern part of Mediterranean basin is less rare and usually related to human presence (Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus).
In metropolitan France, Holm oak is disseminated in the West, the South-West and along the Atlantic coast. However, it is very common in the Mediterranean Sea area and in Corsica. Holm oak covers 753.000 hectares and represents 31 millions of standing wood in France.
Uses of Holm oak
Holm oak wood is very hard and dense. It is an excellent fuel (charcoal). Now appreciated in marquetry for its color and its appearance, it was formerly used for wood wheels, framework, railway sleepers or parquet.
Holm oak particularities
Holm oak is a species very resistant to drought and can be present in places with water balance deficit. Its foliage is very flammable.
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