Quercus ilex - Holm Oak

Quercus ilex - Holm Oak

Grown as a Tree

Quercus ilex makes an imposing specimen tree as tall as any mighty Oak, Introduced From the Northern Mediterranean in the 1600's, Holm Oaks were often planted as entrance trees in larger estates, and many still remain alive today. Best known for its incredible coastal resilience and salt tolerance; though it prefers drier soils it does fairly well on damp soils. It is quite an important wildlife tree as it tends to form a hollow trunk at a relatively young age and plays host to many different Fungi. Fantastic specimens of Quercus ilex can be seen at Fota Arboretum in East Cork and St. Annes Park, Raheny, Dublin 5.

Grown as a Hedge

Another good option, though rarely utilized is growing Holm Oak as a tough sturdy formal seaside hedge. Its grey holly-like evergreen leaves can also be clipped and trained into topiary. Like Hawthorn, you get best results from this hedge when you cut it hard when it is young making it bush out. Hardy, it likes free draining soils.

Site: Tolerates coastal exposure and all but the coldest of inland areas
Soil: Any free draining soil
Position: Full sun
Season of Interest: Evergreen, masses of fruit
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Height: 40ft (12m) Spread: 30ft (9m)
Hedge Spacings: 1 to 2ft (30 - 60cm) apart depending on the eventual height of the hedge

Type | Size: Pot | 5L / 2-3ft
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