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Quercus kelloggii

California Black Oak, Kellogg 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 kelloggii

This deciduous tree grows to 30–80 ft. tall and wide, with a short trunk, ascending branches, and a rounded crown. Dark gray, furrowed, checked bark. Handsome foliage: leaves unfold soft pink or dusty rose, mature to dark glossy green, turn yellow or yellow orange in fall. Leaves are 4–10 in. long and 2 1/2–6 in.wide, with deep, sharply tapered lobes ending in bristly points. Oblong or almost conical, 1–1 1/2-in. acorns are enclosed by about half in a bowl-shaped cap. Good moderate-size tree for spring and fall color; attractive winter trunk and branch pattern. Susceptible to sudden oak death.

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