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Quercus lobata

Common Name:
Valley oak
Plant Type:
Deciduous tree
Fagaceae (The Oak and Beech Family)
Geographic Origin:
California Native?:
Plant Size:
to 60 feet high
Landscape/Garden Uses:
Flowering Season:
Flower Color:
Full sun
Well-drained soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Moderate to no watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 0 degrees F. or less
Of all the oaks, this one has probably suffered most from the advance of the human wave. It occupies exactly those sites deemed most desirable for settlement--the broad valleys where ample water collects in winter and spring (and causes our settlements endless problems). It is an enormous tree when at its best, with an upright base and arching, fountain-like trunks up to 100 feet high, perhaps even more in breadth. The bark is deeply textured and beautiful. The leaves are usually 2-4 inches long, rather flat, with deep to shallow, rounded lobes. They are deep green above, paler beneath, and take on pale to golden hues in fall, when the long, tapered acorns begin to drop. This should be a focal point of a large garden or commercial landscape, never cramped or restrained.