Quercus ilex the holm oak, evergreen or holly oak is a large evergreen tree native to the mediterranean that was introduced into the UK in late sixteenth century. Although not native it supports many of the insect and other animal species found here. It can reach thirty meters in height with a huge head of densely leaved branches, trunks can attain six meters in girth. Not ale to withstand severe winter weather it is mostly confined to the south of England, but may spread with climate change.
The wood is hard and tough and has historically been used in house and ship building as well as for wine casks.
Funky Facts File: While originally deliberately planted its spread is now due to Jays collecting acorns for food which they store by burying them in the ground. It is also one of the top three species used in the establishment of truffle orchards.