The oak is a large evergreen tree from the Mediterranean region occurring in the woodlands of Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco and is a long-lived species.
The outstanding feature of the Algerian oak is the spring growth of bright lime green leaves that contrast with the dark colour of the trunk and branches. The leaves are very similar to the English oak (Quercus robur) in shape, turning dark green by late spring and evergreen in warm zones. In cooler zones the oak is semi-deciduous and completely deciduous in the coldest, turning a brown autumn colour before falling off.
The tree’s stout trunk supports a canopy of broad spreading horizontal branches of dark grey, deeply fissured bark in a pattern of square rough plates. The acorns are a dark nut brown and ripen in April.
The tree can grow successfully in cool to warm temperate climates, and in clay and sand-based loam soils growing to a maximum height and spread of 20 to 30 metres. It is tolerant of sandy, alkaline soils, drought or low rainfall.
Where can the Algerian oak be seen in the Parklands?
There are two examples of the Algerian oak in the Parklands: at Loch Avenue opposite Federation Valley; and Queens Park opposite the bend in York Road.
Both specimens have grown to heights of approximately 12 to 15 metres thriving in the Parklands sandy soils.