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Quercus chrysolepis

Canyon Live Oak, Maul Oak, Goldencup Oak
Fagaceae
Evergreen, Trees

QUERCUS

The archetypal oak grows large and spreads wide, with muscular, near-horizontal lower branches that seem to defy gravity. But the group’s 500 species, all native to the Northern Hemisphere, also include upright, pyramidal, and shrubby oaks; in fact, “chaparral” comes from chaparra—Spanish for a dwarf evergreen shrub oak. Oak leaves can be deciduous or evergreen (the latter are called live oaks); lobed, toothed, or smooth edged; but they’re always arranged in an alternate pattern along stems. Some have terrific fall color. All oaks produce inconspicuous flowers followed by acorns, whose single nuts have cuplike caps covered with closely set scales. Some kinds of acorns are edible and sweet, while others are bitter and unpalatable.

Oaks come in two broad categories: white oaks have acorns that mature during the season in which they are produced, and often have leaves with rounded lobes; red and black oaks have acorns that take two seasons to mature, and often have leaves with pointed lobes. Each group can hybridize only within itself. 

Quercus chrysolepis

Handsome, round-headed or somewhat spreading evergreen tree to 20–60 ft. tall and wide. Bark is smooth and whitish when young, checked and gray with age. Oval, 1–2-in.-long leaves may be smooth edged or spiny; shiny medium green above, pale blue or grayish beneath, with thin felting of silvery or golden hairs on undersides when new.

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