Downy Oak Trees – Quercus Pubescens


Quercus pubescens, commonly known as the Downy Oak, is a deciduous tree native to Europe and Asia Minor. While it’s not indigenous to England, it has been increasingly utilized in British gardens due to its adaptability and attractive qualities.


Quercus pubescens, commonly known as the Downy Oak, is a deciduous tree native to Europe and Asia Minor. While it’s not indigenous to England, it has been increasingly utilized in British gardens due to its adaptability and attractive qualities.

Typically growing to a height of 15-20 meters, the Downy Oak is a robust tree that can spread its crown almost as wide. Its trunk is covered in greyish-brown bark that becomes deeply fissured as the tree matures, creating a rich texture that adds to its year-round interest.

The Downy Oak has distinctive, lobed leaves that give it a unique appeal. They are 5-15 cm long and exhibit a soft downy underside, which gives the tree its name. The leaves are bright green in spring and summer, turning into a beautiful golden brown before falling in autumn, giving it seasonal interest throughout the year.

The growth speed of the Downy Oak is relatively moderate, usually reaching maturity around 50 years, with a typical lifespan of up to 200 years, and some individuals are known to live for several centuries.

Like other oaks, the Downy Oak is monoecious, with separate male and female flowers appearing on the same tree. The male flowers are yellow-green catkins that bloom in spring, while the female flowers are less conspicuous. The wind-pollinated flowers give rise to the tree’s fruit, the acorn. The acorns of the Downy Oak are relatively small, about 2 cm long, and are held in a shallow, downy cup. They mature in the first year, providing a vital food source for various species of wildlife.

In comparison to other trees found in England, the Downy Oak stands out due to its soft, downy leaves and its adaptability to a variety of conditions, including dry and calcareous soils. This makes it a suitable choice for challenging garden conditions where other trees may struggle to thrive.

The Downy Oak is a great choice for British garden designs due to its attractive qualities and versatility. It can serve as a standalone specimen tree, or as part of a mixed woodland planting scheme. The dense, spreading canopy provides ample shade in the summer, while its seasonal changes offer visual interest throughout the year.

The Downy Oak’s acorns and the caterpillars that live on its leaves provide a vital food source for a range of birds and mammals, including jays, pigeons, squirrels, and deer. The tree also serves as a host to a variety of insects, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the garden.

An interesting fact about the Downy Oak is its ability to adapt to dry conditions. In its native range, it can be found in areas of the Mediterranean that experience long, hot summers. This makes it an excellent choice for warmer parts of the UK, or areas with well-drained or chalky soils.

In conclusion, Quercus pubescens, the Downy Oak, with its resilience, adaptability, and the varied wildlife it supports, is a valuable addition to any garden. Its unique attributes, combined with its contribution to biodiversity, make it a truly rewarding choice for the British landscape.


Full Standard, Boxhead, Feathered, Multi Stem, Pleached, Half Standard Pleached, Umbrella, Half Standard, Espalier, Mini Standard, Ball, Cone, Spiral, Cube, Cloud Form, Cube Spiral, Cube Multiball, Cube Ball Cone, Pom-pom, Lollipop, Archway, Twisted Stem, Triple Lollipop, Multiball 2, Multiball 3, Dome, Cylinder, Pyramid, Cylindrical Dome, Twisted Stem, Unique, Bonsai, Instant Hedge, Instant Screen, Hedging Plants, Young Tree

Root Type

Pot Grown, Rootball, Bare Root


15-30cm, 30-50cm, 50-70cm, 70-90cm, 90-110cm, 110-130cm, 130-150cm, 150-170cm, 170-200cm, 200-230cm, 230-250cm, 250-270cm, 270-300cm, 300-350cm, 350-400cm, 400-450cm, 450-500cm, 500-600cm, 600-700cm, 700-800cm, 10-20cm, 20-30cm, 30-40cm, 40-50cm, 50-60cm, 60-70cm, 70-80cm, 80-90cm, 90-100cm, 100-110cm, 110-120cm, 120-130cm, 130-140cm, 140-150cm

Stem Girth

4-6cm, 6-8cm, 8-10cm, 10-12cm, 12-14cm, 14-16cm, 16-18cm, 18-20cm, 20-22cm, 22-24cm, 24-26cm, 26-28cm, 28-30cm, 30-35cm, 35-40cm, 40-45cm, 45-50cm, 50-60cm, 60-70cm, N/A, 20-25cm, 25-30cm

Foliage Type



Not Native

Water Requirement

Moderate Watering

Growth Height

Tall Growing

Growth Speed

Slow Growing

Costal Growing






Colourful Foliage?


Hard Wood Cutbacks?


Produces Nuts



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