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Native alternative(s) for Quercus lobata:
Quercus alba Full Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus nigra Form
Quercus falcata Form
Quercus rubra Quercus rubra

Quercus lobata

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Quercus lobata var. hindsii
  • Quercus lobata var. lobata
  • Quercus lobata var. turbinata
  • Quercus lobata var. walkeri
Phonetic Spelling
KWER-kus low-BAH-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Valley Oak is one of the largest oak trees in North America and is native to the foothills and valleys of California.  It can grow to 100 feet or more and live 600 years. It is very majestic looking with its large wide-spreading branches, massive trunk up to 10 feet in diameter and round spreading crown. With age, the branches can touch the ground.

Valley Oak grows in deep fertile soils in hot dry climates but needs access to groundwater and prefers full sun.

It is closely related to the Eastern White Oak that is a better choice for the NC area.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#large shade tree#wildlife plant#large tree#moths#small mammals#food source#low flammability#acorns#nighttime garden#edible fruits#larval host plant#deciduous tree#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#majestic#pollinator garden#problem for horses#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#large shade tree#wildlife plant#large tree#moths#small mammals#food source#low flammability#acorns#nighttime garden#edible fruits#larval host plant#deciduous tree#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#majestic#pollinator garden#problem for horses#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    lobata
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used acorns as a food staple.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    California
    Distribution:
    California
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Oak trees support a wide variety of Lepidopteran. You may see Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed. Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus), which have one flight from June-August everywhere but Florida where they emerge April-May. Edward's Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii), has one flight from May-July in the south and June-July in the north. Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), has three to four flights in the south from February-November and two flights in the north from May-September. White-M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) has three broods in the north from February-October. Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) has three broods in Texas and the deep south from January-November, and two broods in the north from April-September. Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) has one brood from April-June, appearing as early as January in Florida. Mammals and birds eat the acorns.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Acorns are edible if tannins are leached or boiled out.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Erect
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The acorn cups are composed of thick, tubercled scales. The elongated nuts are 1-2 inches long, pointed and mature in one year Aug.- Oct.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Monoecious male and female flowers on the same tree. Blooms March to April.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4 inch long and 1-2 inches wide leaves with 6-10 deep lobes are green with pale undersides. The undersides have fuzzy hairs. The base is wedge-shaped, rounded-gradually tapered, or truncate. The tip is obtuse to rounded. The leaves are aromatic when crushed.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Furrowed
    Scaly
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Rectangle
    Bark Description:
    The mature bark is gray, scaly, and often vertically fissured in a checker-like pattern.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    No scales, covered in hair
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The twigs are yellowish-grey, sometimes reddish, slightly tomentose. Buds are pale brown, ovoid, 1-2 inches long, pointed, densely pubescent.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Fire
    Problems:
    Messy
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Abdominal pain, constipation then diarrhea (occasionally bloody), depression, frequent urination, discolored urine, jaundice; acorns can obstruct the digestive tract
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves