Turkey Oak Quercus cents L.


The Turkey oak is a native of southern Europe, where it grows south of the Alps and Carpathians. It reaches a height of 25 to 35 metres and has a thick, deeply furrowed blackish-brown bark. In winter, it is easily distinguished by its bristle-like stipules, about 1 to 2-centimetre-long, encircling the buds on the twig. The leaves are leathery and lobed, but exhibit marked variation. The lobes are pointed. The flowers appear in May, and the fruit takes two years to mature. One-year acorns are smaller than a pea, mature acorns are larger than those of the common oak. The Turkey oak attains an age of 200 years, and in western and central Europe is cultivated in parks as an ornamental. Because of its southern origin, it is sensitive to the frost of more northerly regions, resulting in wood-checking and the formation of frost-ribs on the trunk in severe winters, which markedly decreases the value of the wood. The Turkey oak has moderate requirements as to soil properties and moisture, but does not tolerate lime-rich soils; therefore, we find the species Quercus fibescens Willd. Growing in limestone situations in southern Europe. The wood, with red heartwood, is of poorer quality, and is used to make sleepers and mine timbers, and as fuel.