Occurs mainly in the mountainous parts of the Balkans, up to 1,000 m altitude. There it sometimes grows to
40 m tall, up to approx. 25 m when cultivated. It is a relatively fast-growing tree with angular ascending low branches. The short trunk is greyish-brown and has fine grooves. Parts of the bark flake off in platelets. Young twigs are thick, hairy and olive-green; older twigs are bare and grey. The leaves are very deeply and regularly lobed. The large lobes are also lobed or carry blunt serrations. They are 10 - 20 cm long, sometimes longer when the tree grows vigorously, and 7 - 12 cm wide. The acorns are one third to a half enclosed by the cupule. The latter is covered by narrow, contiguous, hairy scales. The cupules and the leaves are very characteristic of the species.
Quercus frainetto's crown is often more transparent than that of Quercus robur.
At a later age the tree's branches can become very pendulous.