California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Quercus douglasii - Blue Oak

Quercus douglasii is the dominant oak for inland portions of the Coast Ranges and Sierra Foothills surrounding the Central Valley of California. The blue leaves make Quercus douglasii a valuable component of the native garden. Quercus douglasii typically grows to 30 feet tall and somewhat wider than tall but can get significantly larger in the right conditions. The natural shape of the tree is quite pleasing when the trees are deciduous. The Blue Oak is slow growing. To plan for slow growing trees, I often plant faster growing plants with the intention of removing them as the more valuable slow growing tree finally grows into its space. Quercus douglasii is tolerant of heavy soils. The Blue Oak is quite drought tolerant and even drought insistent once established. Quercus douglasii is found below the elevations that heavy snowfall occurs. Quercus douglasii is a host for the Hedgerow Hairstreak, Mournful Duskywing butterfly and the Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

Quercus douglasii, Blue Oak

Foliage and acorn caps of Quercus douglasii - Blue Oak. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

The other oaks featured on this site:
Quercus agrifolia * Coast Live Oak
Quercus berberidifolia * Scrub Oak
Quercus durata * Leather Oak
Quercus garryana * Oregon White Oak, Garry Oak
Quercus john-tuckeri * Tucker's Oak
Quercus kelloggii * Maple Leafed Oak
Quercus lobata * Valley Oak
Quercus muehlenbergii * Chinkapin Oak

California Native Trees that reliably produce Colorful Fall Foliage in our dry climate:
Acer macrophyllum
Acer negundo californicum
Cornus nuttallii
Fraxinus dipetala
Juglans californica
Platanus racemosa
Populus fremontii
Quercus douglassii
Quercus garryana
Quercus kelloggii
Quercus lobata
Salix lasiolepis