Pubescent oak23 April 2020
Pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens) belongs to the Fagaceae family.
Deciduous tree, pubescent oak high is between 10 and 25 meters. Its trunk is often short and twisted and its canopy is light and ample. Pubescent oak can be distinguished from other oaks by the presence of short hairs on the inside of its leaves and on its young shoots*. Its acorns, agglomerated, have a short stalk and a grey cupula with pubescent scales.
Its natural area of geographic dispersion extends from Southern and Central Europe to Western Asia. In metropolitan France, pubescent oak is usually disseminated on limestone in the north half and common in the south half from the sea level to 1500 meters in altitude. Pubescent oak covers around 1,4 million hectares and represents around 114 millions m3 of standing wood**.
Pubescent oak wood is hard to work because of its density and hardness. Furthermore, shape and dimensions of pubescent oak limit its use as lumber. However, it is appreciated as fuel (charcoal) and its bark is rich in tannins.
Finally, pubescent oaks can be grown because of their ability to get symbiosis (mycorrhizae) with the hyphae of truffle (Tuber melanosporum).
*The name is derived from the Latin word pubescere meaning “cover with short hairs”.
**Mémento Inventaire Forestier, 2019
Picture 1: Botanical drawing © All Rights Reserved
Picture 2: Pubescent oak acorns © All Rights Reserved
Picture 3: Pubescent oak © Radka Palenikova (Shutterstock)