Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The variety of Oaks - As seen thru their Leaves

More leaves with species names after the jump.

Blue oak (Quercus douglasii) - CA foothills
Mexican blue oak (Quercus oblongifolia) - Northern. Mexico, AZ and TX.
Sandpaper oak (Quercus pungens) - American Southwest
Chinese red oak (Quercus variabilis) Though all the oaks were very diverse, they shared a certain oakiness. Except for this one. It didn't look like an oak at all. Beautiful all the same.

These pics are also from the UC Davis arboretum's Shields Oak Grove. I was amazed at the sheer variety of oak trees. (Finger added in one photo of Algerian oak-Quercus canariensis for perspective on size.)


  1. Very interesting photos, thanks - I've been thinking about our local oaks - a mixture of coast live oak and scrub oak. Scrub oak seems to be a bit of a mystery, very variable. and I think they hybridize. I'm going to grow a few coast live oaks I think - they sprout very reliably in the ground so I'm going to try a potted one for planting somewhere in the garden. I dug out my copy of "Oaks of California" yesterday - lovely book - Bruce M. Pavlik et al - and realized I have never actually read it - a situation soon to be remedied!

  2. I saw some beautiful ones in Panama that were totally different from my vision of an oak tree. I didn't recognize them as oaks until the locals called them Robles. Quercus costaricense, who knew.
    I always think I should plant more of them, both native and some of the appropriate exotic species.

  3. Very cool leaves. They seem about as different as the plants are. Like CM our local canyons have coast live oaks and scrub oaks. My lot is too small for a live oak, unfortunately. They're gorgeous trees.

  4. I'm a complete sucker for oaks. We have 3 coast live oaks in our backyard, all volunteers. One is about 50 yrs old and large. It is gorgeous. The second one was growing in the ivy against the fence. I kept meaning to get rid of it but never did. It is now about 12 years old and getting really nice. The final one is next to an avocado in the way back and will replace it when it dies. When they all get big my backyard will be an oak woodland - too shady for much else.