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Quercus agrifolia

Quercus agrifolia

Thanks to Damon Tighe@Flickr for submitting his photo of Quercus agrifolia from Oakland, California (via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Damon's photostream on Flickr has quite a few recent botanical images from California.

A photograph of the acorns and foliage for coast live oak or California live oak is available from a previous Botany Photo of the Day entry, Quercus agrifolia. In trying to track down the meaning of "live oak" when it is used in a common name, my conclusion so far is that all live oaks are evergreen and North American, but not all evergreen North American oaks are known as live oaks. Also, the live oaks belong to different taxonomic groupings within Quercus. Five species, in Quercus Section Quercus, or the white oaks, are native to southeast and south-central North America. Four species given the common name live oak are native to southwestern North America. Three of these species are in Quercus Section Lobatae, the red oaks, and one is in Quercus Section Protobalanus, or the intermediate or golden-cup oaks.

Calphotos has many images of this iconic Californian tree species: Quercus agrifolia. Quercus agrifolia can also be found in Baja California.


How gorgeous! Where exactly is this spot?

The transparency of the crown, as it appears here makes me wonder about the identification.

What a beautiful path to walk down. I especially liked the landscape view, best to set as background without distortion. Need more of this presentation size.

I would like to move in right away and make a home.

Is that a rabbit with a watch I see at the base of that tree?

I see all sorts of sinewy body forms that were magically transformed into living pulsing beautifully contorted positions on the trunk and branches of the tree. The longer I look at it, the more images I see, and then they change into other images. I also love the textural green cloth of moss on the top side of all the forms. No, I haven't been drinking and I don't do drugs--I am just very artistic and visually imaginative. I enjoy the other worldliness of this photo very much.

Thank you for sharing.

OMG! There really are oaks in Oakland!-)

Lovely picture.

In the six months that I lived in Oakland, I visited Tilden, Sibley, Huckleberry and Redwood parks/preserves, but never made it to Miller. Many people (even those that live there) don't know about the string of parks encompassing the hills that run from Richmond/San Pablo to San Leandro/Castro Valley; 20+ miles of almost unbroken parkland. One (or, more likely, 2 or 3) day(s), I want to hike the entire length.

Vraiment magnifique !

Comme *fluorescent* de mousse.
Merci pour cette belle image


Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I truly look forward to receiving 'Botany Photo of the Day'. You, your staff and students, as well as the many knowledgeable commentators and contributors are to be congratulated. I only wish I could be instantly transported to the location of each day's photo.
Thanks for sharing some of nature's magic with us.

The live oaks in California are so called because all of them will resprout after burning up or cutting down. Also note that the woods of species in section Quercus have desireable woodworking properties, while the woods of Protobalanus and Lobatae all are prone to warp, check, and split, good only for firewood (but really good for that).

This is so beautiful and serene-a scene from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I can just see Tom Bombadil striding through here.

These are very common on the former Fort Ord Military base just north of Monterey, California. The soils are sand and tend to be dry, so they tend to grow rather short, leading some people to believe that they are "scrub oaks". The first mass said in the vicinity of Monterey was underneath one of these oaks and only a piece of its bark remains (in the Cathedral of San Carlos).

Where soils are moister and more fertile they can grow quite tall and broad (not as tall as Quercus Lobata though).

They tend to look rather sinister to visitors here, especially in summer when we get fog, and especially when they are draped with lace lichen.

An interesting bit of information that I've read was even though they are plentiful trees, their acorn crops are often small, unreliable, and not as palatable as other oaks, so the native peoples near Monterey would trek to the tanbark groves near Santa Cruz instead.

if trees could talk we all might be wrong about the fact it's a tree
old song from camelot i talk to the trees but they don't listen to me

what is all the green growing on the the trunk and branches
lovely haunting photo thank you

May I respectfully submit this addition? It's a magnificent tree


Yes, Natalie! That was exactly my first thought: where's Tom and his Lady?

Gorgeous forest. Humbling age.

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