Evergreen oak is one of today’s trendy trees, appreciated for its evergreen leafage and its reasonable size.
Evergreen oak main facts
Name – Quercus ilex
Family – Fagaceae
Type – tree
Height – 30 to 50 feet (10 to 15 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – well drained, rather chalky
Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – April to May
Harvest – September-October
Planting evergreen oak
Evergreen oak is preferably planted in fall, before the first frost spells. The best timing is in the middle of November.
It is also possible to plant evergreen oak in spring if purchased in a container, but then you must be in a position to water it all summer long the first year.
Choose an isolated place, not too near the house because evergreen oak can grow to be quite sizeable when fully mature.
- Evergreen oak needs sun to develop well.
- Evergreen oak is suited to seaside gardens, because it can cope well with sea spray.
- Follow the planting advice scrupulously and favor cool soil.
Although evergreen oak growth is usually considered to be slow, it can be sped up if planted in the appropriate manner and watered often.
To speed its growth up, just cut off flowers in spring and acorns after that, so that all the sap and nutrients are directed towards your evergreen oak’s growth.
Pruning and caring for evergreen oak
Caring for evergreen oak
This is a tree that requires virtually no care at all, when correctly settled in.
For this to happen, you must ensure the best planting environment and regular watering over the first year after planting.
Pruning evergreen oak
Evergreen oak doesn’t need to be pruned, but it helps to remove dead branches regularly.
On the plus side, evergreen oak does cope very well with being pruned, so you can shape it as tall and as wide as you wish.
Since evergreen oak does have a very nice silhouette, do try to keep it while pruning.
- Pruning evergreen oak is at the end of winter or in fall.
- Never prune during freezing, or even if freezing might be expected in the following days.
- Also, never prune evergreen oak in summer when temperatures are high.
Learn more about evergreen oak
Evergreen oak, or Quercus ilex, is a species of the oak family, liked for its evergreen, cute-shaped, shiny leathery leaves that are dark green on the topside and whitish on the underside.
Evergreen oak is found all around the Mediterranean area, and its hardiness (down to 5°F (-15°C)) explains why it is also found along the Atlantic coast.
When not in the Mediterranean area, it will definitely need a lot of sun.
A common presence in scrublands together with juniper and Aleppo pine, evergreen oak is also used to stabilize sand dunes along the Atlantic coast. Indeed, its powerful root system lets it dig deep for water, and thus reinforces fleeting soils such as sand dunes.
In places like Corsica, evergreen oak acorns are fed to pigs which gives local meat a distinctive and famous taste.
Lastly, evergreen oak is also is also used to grow truffles.
Diseases and parasites infecting oak
Evergreen oak is particularly resistant to most diseases, insects and pests. It has an incredibly long lifespan, in some cases estimated to be over 1,500 or even 2,000 years.
- Oak processionary – Treating against these is difficult for tall oak trees. There are treatments against oak processionary caterpillars.
- Foliage covered with white – It is most probably powdery mildew
Smart tip about evergreen oak
Evergreen oak is ideal to hide yourself from your neighbors, without climbing so high, but check local regulations because it must usually be planted at least 6 ½ feet (2 meters) from the property marker.