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Lithocarpus edulis (Japanese Oak)

Another one of those obscure little evergreen trees that we find so irresistible. It’s from Japan, is an oak relative, is extremely hardy and has a distinctly exotic air.

One must own that it’s slow of growth but well worth waiting for. A broad little tree to 10ft after 15 years for full sun or light shade on any reasonably well drained soil. The seed (an acorn by any other name) is edible (edulis means edible). We’ve noticed that being a slow grower, it’s particularly amenable to growing in a pot – for a while.

The young growth is pale green and delicious and contrasts beautifully with the previous year’s dark glossy green leaves.

Propagated by us from cuttings – originally from Tresco Abbey Garden. For any Lithocarpus freaks out there, we usually have a few plants of the even more obscure Lithocarpus henryana. Even slower growing with longer, thinner leaves. Again from cutting originally from the garden on Tresco.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber

Find out more

Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.