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Portuguese "sweet " oaks

 
David Livingston
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geoff lawton recently made mention of Oak trees from Portugal that had much less tannin than other oaks. Does anyone have any further information on this

David
 
David Livingston
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I am hoping it's this one
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_ilex

The Holm Oak

David
 
Dave Wells
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This will be the one

Quercus suber, commonly called the cork oak
 
Burra Maluca
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No no no - the cork oak acorns taste horrid!

The sweet ones have holly-shaped leaves and I'm pretty sure they are the Quercus Ilex. I have a pack of them ready to send off to Paul but that's all I have left at the moment. I have one growing just outside the gate. I'll get some photos posted when I can if you need to identify them.
 
Burra Maluca
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I have one that grows just outside our gate and gives lovely big, sweet acorns.

According to wikki -

There are two subspecies:
Quercus ilex subsp. ilex. Native in the north and east of the species' range, from northern Iberia and France east to Greece. Leaves narrow; acorns 2 cm long, bitter tasting.
Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia (syn. Q. rotundifolia, Q. ballota). Native in the southwest of the species' range, in central and southern Iberia (Portugal and Spain) and northwest Africa. Leaves broader; acorns 2.5 cm long, sweet tasting.


I'm guessing that I live pretty well on the border where the two species overlap, as there are a lot of oak trees around with more holly shaped leaves, but 'my' one is less holly like and has sweet acorns, which would fit with it being Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia. The locals call it a ballota.

I think I'm gonna have to collect a load more acorns this year...

Here's a photo, taken last April.
ballota.jpg
[Thumbnail for ballota.jpg]
 
Dave Wells
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You could easily be right, Burra. I am not an expert. The birdsafe.com web site says: "Cork Oak is a safe wood to leave the bark on. Cork oak has very low levels of tannin (far lower then other oaks) and......" which suggests the acorns are relatively sweet. Also note that pigs tend to pig out on acorns and that Portuguese villages used to have the cork oak as a mainstay, one purpose being to fatten up the piggies. I will be planting some myself for that reason.

 
David Livingston
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Bugger I know where there are thousands of the wrong subspecies here in France I thought I had hit the jackpot .
Getting the wrong one to grow here in France is doable mmmmm grafting anyone ?
Thinking about it Paul would like to grow some, would it not be an idea to grow the northern subspecies then graft the southern one onto it I notice that his place seems a tad colder than Spain and Portugal.. A bit like folks do with citrus It might make such trees more hardy.

David
 
Darnell Brawner
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Does anyone know where you can order premium oaks that produce large sweet acorns for the southeast?
 
Cj Sloane
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Not sure if these'll work for the southeast but it's a good source of low tannin oaks:
The Edible Acorn
 
David Vidal
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In Catalonia we've also got plenty of both holm (or evergreen) oak types, and also hybrids of both sub-species (since like other types of oaks, they inter-breed quite easily). Here's the leaf morphological difference between a true Quercus Ilex Ilex (left) and a true Quercus Ilex Ballota/Rotundifolia (right). As wikipedia says, just the acorns of Quercus Ilex Ballota are edible, but since holm oaks in transition areas are usually inter-bred, it's not easy to find a 100% true non-bitter acorn:


Source: http://ichn.iec.cat/bages/alzinar/fulles.htm

Burra Maluca wrote:I have one that grows just outside our gate and gives lovely big, sweet acorns.

According to wikki -

There are two subspecies:
Quercus ilex subsp. ilex. Native in the north and east of the species' range, from northern Iberia and France east to Greece. Leaves narrow; acorns 2 cm long, bitter tasting.
Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia (syn. Q. rotundifolia, Q. ballota). Native in the southwest of the species' range, in central and southern Iberia (Portugal and Spain) and northwest Africa. Leaves broader; acorns 2.5 cm long, sweet tasting.


I'm guessing that I live pretty well on the border where the two species overlap, as there are a lot of oak trees around with more holly shaped leaves, but 'my' one is less holly like and has sweet acorns, which would fit with it being Quercus ilex subsp. rotundifolia. The locals call it a ballota.

I think I'm gonna have to collect a load more acorns this year...

Here's a photo, taken last April.
 
Cj Sloane
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Wow! Those look nothing like our red or white oak leaves at all!
 
Bruno Silva
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I have lot of those Quercus Ilex Ilex in my plot, i can send some seeds, because it´s hard tree to transplante i think, the main one is one the top of the hill and give a lot of nutrient for all the terrain.
 
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