What is the plant
Quercus pubescens, the downy oak or pubescent oak, is a species of white oak native to southern Europe and southwest Asia, from northern Spain east to the Crimea and the Caucasus. It is also found in France and parts of central Europe.
Quercus pubescens is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing up to 20 m. Forest-grown trees grow tall, while open-growing trees develop a very broad and irregular crown. They are long-lived, to several hundred years, and eventually grow into very stout trees with trunks up to 2 m in diameter. Open-grown trees frequently develop several trunks. The bark is very rough, light grey and divided into small flakes. Large trees develop very thick whitish bark cracked into deep furrows, similar to the pedunculate oak but lighter in colour. Downy oaks typically grow in dry, lime-rich soils. It is a submediterranean species, growing from the coastline to deep in the continent. Its optimum is in the submediterranean region, characterized by hot dry summers and cool winters with little rain fall. In western and central Europe, downy oak is confined to areas with submediteranean microclimate (gorges, sandplains, steppe slopes) or to coastlines of former lakes.
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