Holly oak, Holm oak

Quercus ilex


The Holly oak grows into a large evergreen tree with a dense canopy habit, 30-60 ft. tall and as wide. Leathery leaves are dull green above, white below, and have intermittent spines on the margins. Pointed acorns are round, 1 in. long with the base often covering half the nut. Young trees develop an upright habit for the first 15-20 years before broadening into a rounded shape as they mature.

Holly oak comes from the Mediterranean region of Europe, including the western Himalayas where heat, cold and seasonal drought are common. It is a highly adaptable species that has been widely planted across the Inland Empire along streets, in parks and in residential landscapes . It shows good tolerance to heat and aridity like our native oaks, but has a greater tolerance for summer irrigation. Many trees have been planted in lawns and gardens for deep summertime shade.

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Multi-trunk, Low-branching, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Insignificant
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil, Deep soil, Calcareous soil, Acidic soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Shade Tree, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Foliage accent plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Background plant, Attracts butterflies
Height: 30 ft. – 60 ft.
Width: 30 ft. – 60 ft.