Quercus pubescens

Downy Oak

We only have one source for this seed and that produces acorns sporatically.If you can supply and you are located in North America please advise. We try not to import Quercus species from abroad. Recalcitrant seeds need refrigeration. Since shipping times are out of our control, we are not liable for seed condition upon arrival.
  • Quercus pubescens

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Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

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New Zealand

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 60 days , or until radicle emergence
Germination: sow seed 3/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Other: fall sowing in mulched beds is prefered to artificial stratification 

Introducing the Quercus pubescens Downy Oak

The Quercus pubescens, commonly known as the Downy Oak or Pubescent Oak, is a remarkable oak tree belonging to the white oak section of the Quercus genus. Its natural habitat spans southern Europe and southwest Asia, including regions from northern Spain to the Crimea and the Caucasus. This magnificent tree can also be found in parts of France and central Europe.

The Downy Oak is a medium-sized deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 20 meters. Forest-grown trees tend to grow tall, while open-growing ones develop broad and irregular crowns. These long-lived trees can persist for several hundred years, eventually transforming into stout trees with trunks up to 2 meters in diameter. Some open-grown trees even develop multiple trunks.

The bark of the Downy Oak is rough, light grey, and divided into small flakes. In larger trees, it thickens into a whiteish color and cracks into deep furrows. The twigs of the tree are light purple or whitish and covered in tomentum. The buds are small and blunt, light brown in color.

The leaves of the Quercus pubescens are leathery and usually measure 4-10 cm in length (sometimes up to 13 cm) and 3-6 cm in width. The upper surface is dark green and rough, while the lower surface appears light green. Both sides of the leaves are covered with fine pubescence, which may be lost in older leaves. The shape of the leaves is highly variable, usually divided into 3-7 pairs of deep or shallow lobes, occasionally with sublobes. The lobes are typically blunt, although sharp ones can occur. The leaf apex is usually wide and round, while the base is heart-shaped or pointed. The petioles are stout, pubescent, and measure 4-15 mm in length. The leaves persist late into autumn, turning russet or brown before falling off.

One of the notable features of the Quercus pubescens is its acorns. These acorns are light brown to yellow, usually thin, and pointed, measuring 8-20 mm in length. The acorn cups are light grey to almost white, consisting of pointed, overlapping scales covered in tomentum. The acorn stalks are thick and pubescent, growing up to 2 cm in length. It is common to find the acorns grouped in 2-5 on the same stalk.

The Downy Oak thrives in dry, lime-rich soils and is often found in submediterranean regions with hot, dry summers and cold winters. It is highly adaptable and can grow from the coastline to inland areas. In western and central Europe, the tree can be found in areas with a submediterranean microclimate or on coastlines of former lakes.

With its majestic stature, longevity, and unique characteristics, the Quercus pubescens Downy Oak is a true marvel of nature. Explore more about this incredible tree and its different subspecies to gain a deeper appreciation for its beauty and significance in the natural world.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_pubescens
2. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/194083/2322747

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