Holm oak

Holm oak (Quercus ilex L., 1753) also known as Holly Oak and Evergreen oak tree, is a tree species belonging to the family of Fagaceae, native to the Mediterranean region. Holm oak is a very long-lived tree that can reach up to 100 years of age.

An evergreen tree of large size, attaining in favorable places a height of 20–25 meters, and developing in open situations a huge head of densely leafy branches as much across.

They have grey and smooth bark when young, becoming darker, almost blackish and fissured with age, opening up square in shape cracks in all directions of the trunk.

The young branches are grey and pubescent, but after a while they became greenish grey and glabrous. Buds are small, tomentose and rounded with only few perule.

They have a deep-rooting, tap-rooting and a fine root structure that develop already in the first few years of life and their roots can deeply penetrate into the ground for several meters. This allows them to withstand drought (trees draw water from the ground), but entails problems in transplantation, operation not appreciated by this species. The lateral roots may also be very robust and they often grow root suckers.

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