quercus agrifolia


Common Names: california live oak



Family: Fagaceae

Origin: California

Type: Evergreen tree

Size: 30–60’ high and wide; prune to control.

Flowers: Flowers in spring not showy. Hard, leathery dark green leaves with spiny edges. Acorns 1-2” long, fall (after tree is about 20 to 50 years old).

Uses: Large areas, shade or street tree, parks, civic centers, in heat. Magnificent accent with long life. Fire resistive.

Wildlife: Habitat, food, leaves for caterpillars. Deer resistant.

Soil: Grows in a variety of soils. Soil from under a native oak provides beneficial fungi for new trees.

Water: Water new plantings for first two dry seasons; monthly if winter is dry; otherwise no summer water.

Sun: Full sun.

Pruning: Prune for interesting shape or close to keep small (10–12’). Branches become twisted and large with age. Should never be heavily. 

Pests & Diseases: Oak root fungus, sudden oak death. Caterpillars, beetles, moths, scale insects, treehoppers, whiteflies. 

Notes: Native to coastal and inland valleys and chaparral from coast to 5000 ft. Found on dry slopes and near seasonal streams. Roots invasive. Look for many other oaks in various sizes in the Garden. Hardy to 10° F.