Scientific: Quercus suber
Common: cork oak
Family: Fagaceae
Origin: Western Mediterranean region

Pronounciation: QUER-cus SUE-ber

Hardiness zones
Sunset
5-7 (occasional winter damage), 8-16, 18-23
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Commercial and residential oak, landscape novelty tree, chaparral and Mediterranean type landscape, specimen tree, street tree. Use with discretion in urban landscapes because of eventual large size

Form & Character: Rugged, mostly upright, open, not as spreading as Q. virginiana.

Growth Habit: Woody evergreen, perennial tree, slow when young to moderate with age to 50 feet tall in Phoenix, somewhat taller elsewhere.

Foliage/texture: Small ovate leaves to 3 inches long, often toothed, dark green above to gray tomentose beneath, leaves drop in early spring as new leaves appear. Cork oak trees are famous for producing a thick corky phellem (bark). Generally, cork oak trees have a medium fine textured canopy of foliage that contrasts nicely against the tree's fissured, coarse-textured trunk and branches.

Flowers & fruits: All oaks are dioecious, male and female flowers are mostly yellowish and inconspicuous in axillary positioned catkins; fruits are an acorn with cap enclosing about 1/3 to 1/2 of nut, edible after roasting.

Seasonal color: None

Temperature: Tolerant

Light: Full sun

Soil: Tolerant, yellows in highly alkaline soils, good drainage.

Watering: Drought tolerant, give infrequent deep irrigations during summer.

Pruning: Little except to elevate canopy base.

Propagation: Seed

Disease and pests: Spider mites

Additional comments: The phellum (laypersons call this bark) of cork oak yields commercial cork. Vandalism of trunk can be a huge problem in highly visible areas. Otherwise, this is a great, albiet slow growing, evergreen oak tree for Arizona desert urban landscapes.