California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Quercus lobata - Valley Oak

Quercus lobata is a large deciduous tree. The Valley Oak can attain a height and spread of nearly 100 feet. The deeply lobed leaves, large acorns and cobbled bark are prime characteristics of the Valley Oak. Quercus lobata can be found on the valley floor where it has access to groundwater. Quercus lobata produces its acorns from late Summer into Fall. The Valley Oak is more threatened than the other species as the flat area in most valleys where it resides is so frequently used for agriculture and houses. The new foliage of the Valley Oak is a pale dusty pink. Quercus lobata is one of the most stately of our California native trees. The root zone of the Valley Oak extends well beyond the reach of its branches. Care should be taken when planting or constructing under Quercus lobata to avoid damaging the root system. On the hottest days oaks suck up so much water that they can destabilize large branches which in turn come crashing down. Quercus lobata is a host plant for the Hedgerow Hairstreak, Mournful Duskywing butterflies and the Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar.

Quercus lobata, acorn, Valley Oak

Green foliage and acorn of Quercus lobata - Valley 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 douglassi * Blue Oak
Quercus durata * Leather Oak
Quercus garryana * Oregon White Oak, Garry Oak
Quercus john-tuckeri * Tucker's Oak
Quercus kelloggii * Maple Leafed 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