The holm oak is a well-known hardwood throughout the Mediterranean Sea, where it is one of the most abundant species. Its scientific name is Quercus ilex, and is also known as alsina, holm oak or chaparra.

It is a slow growing tree that can reach 25 meters in height. Its fruits are acorns, much sought after in rural areas, so one of the most important uses of oak is not wood production, but its use as a fruit tree.

It is often compared to oak wood. In fact, in English-speaking countries, it is called Holm Oak (oak = oak). The price of oak is also similar to that of local oak species.

However, it is not a high quality wood. The uses of oak wood are vast, where what is basically sought is resistance. Despite being an abundant wood in the areas where it is typical, its export is very limited.

Characteristics of oak wood

Color: Whitish in the sapwood and reddish brown in the heartwood.

Fiber: interlaced and wavy.

Grain: Medium to thick.

Density: It has an approximate density of 800-850 kg / m3 at 12% humidity.

Toughness: This is a 6 hard wood in the Monnin test.

Durability: Great resistance to rotting. Not so much to the attack of insects, the butterfly “pyral do carvalho” or some beetles are its main problem.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: 0.55% of nervous wood.

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 590 kg / cmtwo
  • Resistance to static bending: 1,500 kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: 136,750 kg / cmtwo


  • Sawn. No more problems derived from its hardness.
  • Drying. Slow, with risk of albeus and the appearance of cracks.
  • Brushed. No problem, except in corrugated fiber boxes.
  • Glued. No problems.
  • Nailed and screwed. Requires knockouts.
  • Finish. No problems.
holm oak characteristics


  • Cultivation tools, such as plows or carts.
  • Tools and cables.
  • Small hydraulic constructions.
  • Floors or platforms.
  • bundles
  • Naval building.
  • Thanks to its high calorific value, it has been used in many areas, such as charcoal or firewood until the 20th century. Today that use continues, albeit on a much smaller scale. It is considered one of the best options for cooking and barbecuing.