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Quercus garryana
Quercus garryana

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Zone
Zones 4-11, 14-23
Full Sun
Full
Minimal Water
Minimal

Quercus garryana

Oregon White Oak, Garry Oak
Fagaceae
Deciduous, 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 garryana

Deciduous tree native to California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Slow to moderate growth to 40–90 ft. tall and 30–60 ft. wide, with a rounded crown. Branches are often twisted; bark is gray, scaly, checked. Leathery, 3–6-in.-long, broadly oval leaves with rounded lobes. Foliage is glossy dark green above, rusty or downy beneath; turns reddish brown in fall. Globular, edible acorns to 1 1/4 in. long, bulging from a small, scale-covered cap. Tree casts moderate shade and has a deep, nonaggressive root system. Immune to sudden oak death.

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