• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigourous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Quercus ilex

Holm oak

Holm oak

© � RHS 2002

  • Other common names Holm oak
    Evergreen oak

    Holly oak
    Holly-leaved oak

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  • Genus Quercus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs, with entire, lobed or toothed leaves; flowers inconspicuous, followed by characteristic acorns; sometimes good autumn colour

  • Family Fagaceae / Fagaceae

  • Species Q. ilex is a large evergreen tree with black, finely cracked bark, developing a massive, rounded crown. Glossy dark green, ovate leaves, whitish beneath contrast with whitish young foliage and yellow catkins

  • Plant range Mediterranean


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Bushy



  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect North-facing or East-facing or South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered or Exposed


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained, Well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Sand, Clay

  • pHAcid, Neutral, Alkaline


  • Ultimate height

    Higher than 12 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    wider than 8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation An easy to grow evergreen tree that responds well to formative pruning and clipping. Can be used as hedging in coastal areas and is suitable for most sites except the coldest inland areas. Leaf fall can occur in summer

Propagation Propagate by seed sown in a coldframe or seedbed as soon as ripe or by grafting in mid-autumn or late winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types Drought Resistant Hedging & Screens Mediterranean Climate Plants Coastal

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Susceptible to aphids and leaf-mining moths

Diseases Generally disease free

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