conferta Kit, Q. hungarica
Hubeny ex Rochel, Q.
esculiformis O. Schwarz)
This is a deciduous oak
species that grows up to 35 m in height. It forms extensive pure
or mixed forests that occupy almost one third of all Greek forests
and 80% of the deciduous oak forests. It is found growing in
semi-mountainous areas of mainland Greece from the Peloponnese to
N Greece and Thrace.
is the most valuable and important oak species in Greece, due to
the surface area its ecosystems cover and its valuable wood used
for both firewood and furniture. Its bulky wood being
pale-coloured, lustrous, with many flecks (medulla rays), in
combination with its strength and durability, make it valuable for
parquetry and furniture. The acorns are also valuable as they make
an excellent food for pigs, and the taxon’s foliage is an
important animal foodstuff, especially for goats. Q.
frainetto ecosystems are found on limestone, siliceous and
serpentine substrates. They mainly grow on heavy clay soils and
red clays that are unsuitable for cultivation, and this is
probably the reason why these ecosystems have undergone less
clearings that other oak forests.
the past, like all broadleaved oak ecosystems, Q.
frainetto forests have undergone intensive exploitation with
excessive tree felling, coppicing and overgrazing, resulting in
many to appear in degraded or shrub form. The regulation of tree
felling, and mostly reduction in grazing by goats and sheep, has
allowed these ecosystems to regenerate naturally. As a result we
now see spectacular ecosystems with oak in the canopy and Carpinus
orientalis and other species in the understorey and mid-layer.
Ecosystems of this type
are presently found in various levels of degradation and therefore
have various growth capacities. All these forests are managed as
coppice, which aims to mostly produce firewood. However, as this
species produces good quality wood when it grows on good sites,
management should be converted into seed germination form using
tissue culture and extending its growth time.
distribution of Q. frainetto in Greece can be seen in Map