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  • Botany

Turkey oak

The turkey oak is a large tree that can reach heights of 30 m and live from 150 to 200 years.


The turkey oak (Quercus cerris), is a member of the Fagaceae family.

Le chêne chevelu est également appelé chêne de Bourgogne
The turkey oak. © Falkner/sokol, Flickr CC by 2.0

Botanical description

This species has an ovoid crown. Its trunk can measure up to 2 m in diameter! Its bark is dark grey and deeply furrowed revealing a salmon pink hue in the depths of the cracks. Its deciduous leaves measure from 7 to 14 cm long and 3 to 5 cm wide, with 6 to 12 triangular lobes on each side. This is a monoecious tree, with male flowers in the form of hanging catkins and discrete female flowers often grouped together near the axils of the leaves. Its fruit are large acorns from 2 to 4 cm long and 2 cm wide, they are twin-coloured with an orange base that turns green-brown at the tip. The bottom of its leaves, it buds and its acorn cups are covered in pubescent filaments.

Quercus cerris
Quercus cerris. © HermannFalkner sokol, Flickr CC by nc 2.0


This tree comes from Southeast Europe (Italy, the Balkans, etc.). In France, it is mainly found planted, especially in the Centre-West, and rarely grows spontaneously.

Growing conditions

The turkey oak grows well in clay soil, but also tolerates calcareous land.


The pink coloured wood of this species is heavy, hard, sinewy and not very durable. It is mainly used for railway ties and roof frameworks.

Author: Michel Caron

Quercus cerris. © kirandulo, Flickr CC by 2.0 Quercus cerris. © kirandulo, Flickr CC by 2.0

Turkey oak - 3 Photos


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