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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Seed - cooked[1]. A famine food[2]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Unknown part

Material uses

A mulch of the leaves repels slugs, grubs etc, though fresh leaves should not be used as these can inhibit plant growth.

Oak galls are excrescences that are sometimes produced in great numbers on the tree and are caused by the activity of the larvae of different insects. The insects live inside these galls, obtaining their nutrient therein. When the insect pupates and leaves, the gall can be used as a rich source of tannin, that can also be used as a dyestuff[3]. A fairly wind-tolerant tree, it can be used in shelterbelt plantings[4]. Bark is the source of cork, it is much used for heat and sound insulation, flooring, floats etc. Trees are first harvested when they are 25 - 30 years old[5], and then harvested every 6 - 12 years[6]. The bark must be removed carefully so as not to harm the tree. A large tree can yield up to 1 tonne of cork. On a 10% moisture basis, the bark contains 16.9% tannin[7].

Wood.

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc[3].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Windbreak

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool overwinter but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees[8]. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Quercus suber. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side[8]. Lime tolerant[9]. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade[4]. Tolerates moderate exposure, surviving well but being somewhat stunted[4].

Cultivated for its bark in Europe, it is the main source of cork[10][11]. Trees are first harvested when they are 25 - 30 years old and are then harvested on a 10 - 12 year rotation. Only hardy in the milder areas of Britain[4], it is not very frost resistant[12]. Trees grow well in Cornwall where there are many large specimens[8][13][14]. Trees grow quite well at Kew[K]. Transplants badly unless it is moved regularly, it should only be moved in September or as growth commences in late spring[8]. Does not fruit well in Britain. Most of the trees grown in Britain as Q. suber are in fact Q. suber occidentalis[8]. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus[4].

This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[15][4].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Quercus suber. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Quercus suber.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Quercus suber
Genus
Quercus
Family
Fagaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
8
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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"image:Quercus suber0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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References

  1. ? 1.01.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.64.7 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Rosengarten. jnr. F. The Book of Edible Nuts. Walker & Co. ISBN 0802707699 (1984-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Rottsieper. E.H.W. Vegetable Tannins The Forestal Land, Timber and Railways Co. Ltd. (1946-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  9. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
  11. ? Polunin. O. and Huxley. A. Flowers of the Mediterranean. Hogarth Press ISBN 0-7012-0784-1 (1987-00-00)
  12. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
  13. ? Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties. ()
  14. ? Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall. ()
  15. ? RHS. The Garden. Volume 112. Royal Horticultural Society (1987-00-00)

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