Quercus ilex

Quercus ilex (c) Jean-Pol GRANDMONT / Wikipedia
Quercus ilex (c) Jean-Pol GRANDMONT / Wikipedia

A magnificent, slow-growing evergreen oak originating from the Mediterranean which can reach 20m x 20m. Its generous, rounded form can cast a lot of shade. Very adaptable and copes with both wind and salt, so suited to exposed sites. It has no ‘best season’ as such but its grey-green foliage is a perfect autumn backdrop for other plants and shrubs whose leaves are turning. Drought tolerant.

H x S: 20m x 20m, slowly.

Aspect and soil: Any soil that doesn’t get waterlogged, with a preference for deep, fertile well-drained soil, in full sun.

Use: As a single specimen in a park, especially in a Mediterranean theme or dry garden; clipped in avenues in towns or formal gardens; topiarised.

Care: If grown free form, no pruning is required other than removing dead, diseased or damaged branches. If grown for formal hedging or topiary, prune in early spring and clip untidy shoots at the end of summer.

Wildlife: The acorns are loved by mammals big and small, and by jays.

Hazard: —

Origin: Mediterranean region

Hardiness: H6