Common name: Silver oak
Native to: Eastern and Southern tropical Africa
Silver oak is a large, fairly fast-growing, evergreen tree that can grow up to 35 metres tall.The bole has a diameter of up to 85cm under favourable conditions.The wood is highly valued, especially as a fuel and for carving statues etc. It is commonly harvested from the wild. The tree grows quite quickly on good soils and is often planted as an ornamental around dwellings in Kenya.
The tree has been much overexploited for its wood in the past. It has been classified as 'Near Threatened' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011).
Native / exotic: Native
Aspect: Full sun
Flowers: Small pale white flowers in umbels interspersed at branch ends.
Foliage: Evergreen, silvergrey leaves on underside, serrated edge
Growth habit: Upright, wide branching
Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant
Height: Up to 30 metres / 80 feet
Spread: Up to 5 metres / 18 feet
Soil requirements: Prefers well-drained soils. Keep well mulched
Uses: An attractive smaller tree species with silver undersides to serrated leaves. Used for carving and timber as a replacement to sandalwood in India and a fragrant oil is extracted from the bark.