AZ Arboretums

Quercus suber

Cork OakCommon: Cork oak
Family: Fagaceae
Origin: Native to Mediterranean region
Light: Prefers some shade
Water: Significantly drought resistant when established. Thoroughly soak root zone every couple of weeks to couple of months.
Temperature: Hardy to 20 degrees F

Good garden shade tree with interesting contrast between fairly light textured foliage and massive, fissured trunk. Value as street tree or park tree diminishes when children find out how easy it is to carve the bark.

One of the best oaks for the desert. Evergreen tree in the Beach family. Moderate growth rate to 30-60 ft. high and as wide. Trunk and principal limbs covered with thick corky bark (cork of commerce). Toothed, 3 inch leaves are shiny dark green above and gray underneath. Fine textured.

Cork is formed from layers of cells which remain attached to the tree after dying. A tree 50 years old produces 500 pounds of cork, but one that is 80 or 100 years old produces 500 pounds. Cork oaks can only be harvested every nine years.

Visit History of the Cork Oak for additional information about this very interesting tree.