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Turkey Oak (quercus cerris)


Picture of the Turkey Oak tree (quercus cerris)
Pyrenean Oak, click to enlarge
Do not confuse this tree with the American Turkey Oak which is often called just the Turkey Oak in North America.

Turkey Oak (quercus cerris)
First, let's get the naming of this tree correct. It is the Turkey Oak, quercus cerris. There is also an oak which should be called the American Turkey Oak (quercus laevis) but is often shortened, incorrectly, in North America to the Turkey Oak. The two trees have quite different characteristics. This page details how to identify the true Turkey Oak (quercus cerris).

The tree is fast growing, reaching a height of 38m (125ft) when mature. It is often used as the stock (lower part) when grafting on other slower growing oak trees. The wood is of poor quality, principally because the tree grows so fast. But it does look impressive in parks and arboretum. It will grow well on chalky soils.

Acorn of the Turkey Oak (quercus cerris)

The acorn is the most distinguishing feature when identifying this tree. The cup is frilled and very distinctive. They are produced over a two year period turning from green to a light brown.


Other oaks which have a similar distinctive cup are listed below with other means mentioned for identifying the Turkey Oak. See the picture of the Turkey Oak leaf below the table to confirm identification.

Tree Name Other Distinctive Features

Quercus castaneifolia The leaves of quercus cerris are significantly more lobed. Quercus cerris is also a far more common oak tree.

Quercus x hispanica Although the leaves of the two tree are similar, those of quercus cerris are more pointed at the ends of the lobes.

Quercus trojana The acorn cup of quercus cerris is far more 'frilled' and the leaves are more lobed.

Leaf of the Turkey Oak (quercus cerris) The leaves are deeply lobed and generally narrower than most other oak tree leaves. They are a glossy green on the top but felted below. They grow alternately on the twigs with very short twigs. Leaves are 6 to 13cm (2� to 5�) long.

Groupe leaves of Turkey Oak

The bark is similar to many other tall growing oak trees. It is greyish with deep lines running up and down the trunk.