Valley Oak

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Valley Oak.jpgA large Valley Oak in Mace Ranch Park.

Valley Oak is a hardy, drought-tolerant species of oak native to California's Central Valley. The leaves, while small, irregular and generally oakish in all ways, are larger than those of the Cork Oak (Quercus suber) or Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) and less spiny. The bark is dense and dark brown. Most Valley Oaks you'll see in Davis sport galls of some sort, either on the leaves or on the branches. The galls are harmless and are a historically accurate source of tannin for recreating medieval ink and other uses.

Valley Oaks can be spotted standing alone in the middle of fields around Davis as well as scattered throughout the urban forest in parking lots, in front of schools, and in front and back yards.

The scientific name is Quercus lobata. Prompted by the tree's significance to Central Valley ecology, California Aggie columnist Wolfgang Rougle occasionally uses the namesake Lobataland to refer to the Central Valley.

flora_valleyOak2.jpgLeaf detail flora_valleyOak4.jpgBark detail

The City of Davis has identified specimens at the following locations as [WWW]Landmark Trees through the Street Tree Program.

For more information on local plants see Town Flora.

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