Another species, the holm oak (Quercus ilex) reigns supreme in Fenouillèdes
The kingdom of the holm oak, the tree symbol of the Mediterranean forest, is dark and cool. The holm oak is a tree that lets little light through to the ground, despite its small leaves.
It’s perfectly adapted to the heat its leaves are evergreen, hard and covered with a protective layer on top (which makes the leaf shiny) and hairs underneath (which give it that white color). On the same tree, you’ll find leaves of very different shapes (oval, round, prickly or very smooth).
As a resource tree, it was once indispensable to the daily lives of villagers, and all parts of the tree were used. The hard wood of the holm oak, which can be polished like marble, was used to make many tools and mechanism parts. Its bark was used to tan hides, and the acorns served as animal feed.