Holm Oak

Quercus ilex


Introduced from the Mediterranean in the 16th century, Holm Oak is a tall, evergreen tree that is widely planted. Like our native oaks, it produces acorns (on short stalks) which are dispersed by wildlife. It often survives by the coast, tolerating salt-spray from the sea, but is prone to die or lose its leaves during severe frosts. For this reason, it's more common in the south.

How to identify

Holm Oak is an evergreen oak with dark, glossy leaves that are oval and concave in shape, and often spiny on younger trees or new shoots.

Where to find it

Widely planted, particularly near the coast and in parkland, but also self-seeding in southern and central areas.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Although Holm Oak is not a native tree, it provides an important link in the food chain for many animals, as well as a place for shelter and nesting. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species throughout the food chain, so look after many nature reserves for the benefit of wildlife. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from coppicing to craft-making, stockwatching to surveying.

Species information

Common name
Holm Oak
Latin name
Quercus ilex
Trees and shrubs
Height: up to 20m
Conservation status
Introduced species.