Quercus suber, Cork Oak

An iconic Mediterranean tree, the cork oak blends the strength of the oak family, with a dry climate set of features which include small, leathery leaves (which can sprout from the stems like gums after fire) , short trunk and its famous corky bark–that made corks to once stop wine bottles. This tree also is good for-

  • dry sandy, light and granitic soils
  • slow and small on tight clays but of medium growth in open soils to around 200 years
  • but not for saline or calcareous soils
  • drought; hardy to around 350mm p.a., frost hardy to about -10C.
  • all-year shade, this tree is evergreen and sheds leaves and replaces in early summer
  • leaves are dark, glossy green on top and have grey down underneath
  • offers all year low wind breaking
  • wood is first rate fuel
  • corky bark is a most interesting landscape feature
  • slightly frost tender (but tolerates Canberra frosts)
  • In the right soils can grow to 25mx 25m, as on Bayside sands in Melbourne.


Tree shape

Spreading and rounded

Mature size

Medium 8-12m

Growth rate



Shade, carbon store, firewood, ornamental, windbeak

Soil type

All light soils, good in granitic sands


Drought hardy


Oval, small & evergreen (margins can be serrated)


SW Europe and North Africa