The Cork oak can become a large, heritage scale, evergreen tree slowly growing 30-60 ft. tall and 40-50 ft. wide. Pale green leathery leaves have heavily serrated margins and occasional spines; acorns grow to 1 1/4 in. long and are held by a heavily fringed base. Trunks and branches are covered by thick bark that is the source of cork for commercial uses.
Cork oak is native to the western and central Mediterranean region of Europe and parts of north Africa where it is well adapted to heat, aridity and drought, and prefers rocky and slightly acidic soils. It was introduced into California in the mid 1800’s and can be found in landscapes across the Inland Empire. While not as popular as our native oaks, it is very garden tolerant and thrives in deep well-drained soils with low amounts of summer water.