How downy oak is grown
The downy oak (Quercus pubescens Willd., 1805) is among the oaks the most widespread species in Italy (present in all regions), so much so that in many places it is simply called oak. This plant from the Fagaceae family is native to southern Europe and Asia Minor.
Quercus pubescens is a monoecious plant with unisexual flowers; the fruit is an acorn with an ovoid pericarp, glossy brown when ripe.
For the cultivation of this plant it should be borne in mind that it tolerates any type of exposure, but if it faces north, especially on humid soils, it tends to easily suffer from fungal diseases.
From a pedological point of view, it prefers a calcareous soil, but it also adapts to clayey or stony soils, not acidic ones.
Furthermore, before carrying out the plant, special attention must be paid to the drainage, since it fears water stagnation; it is therefore advisable, where the conditions exist, to arrange stony drainages around the plant.
In the hole that will host Quercus pubescens it is advisable to administer a shovel of mature manure or dry manure.
Downy oak is a plant that must then be managed with great care as it tends to form many suckers that must be eliminated every year if you want to get a plant with an arboreal habit, also because it is a slow-growing tree.
Downy wood is similar to that of English oak, although more irregular and more difficult to work.
Wood is appreciated and used as firewood; it belongs to the category of hard essences, that is those woods that have excellent calorific value and slow combustion. The wood, although similar to that of oak, has less straight fibers, which is why it is more difficult to process, and also tends to embark. The resulting beams are used in construction, shipbuilding and once railway sleepers.
Acorns are sweet and were used not only for feeding pigs but also, in times of famine, to make a kind of acorn bread or piadina.