California Black Oak Quecus kelloggii

Black Oaks are a deciduous tree that grows 30 to 90 feet tall. The deeply lobed leaf is 3 to 7 inches long. This oak produces an acorn said to be preferred by many California native peoples and is an important food source for many species of the central coast. In the coastal range they are found above 2000 feet. In the Santa Lucia Mountains they are often in mixed forests of Ponderosa Pine, Madrone, and various Live Oaks.

california black oak leaf

California Black Oak Tree
When standing alone like the example above Black Oaks will grow with a rounded canopy. In heavy forested areas they will be taller with branches begining much further up the tree.

California Black Oak Tree foliage
Black Oak foliage.

california black oak acorn
The acorn takes about 18 months to mature once the flowers are pollinated.

California Black Oak Tree acorns
There is the ideal and then there is what nature does. Like most oaks there is a high degree of variablity in the acorns. All of the above acorns were gathered from a five foot area beneath a single tree.

California Black Oak Tree forest floor
The forest floor under a Black Oak. Most Black Oaks will mix with other species (Ponderosa Pine, Coulter Pine, Madrone, Interior Live Oak, Canyon Live Oak, Valley Oaks) and is rare to find in a pure stands.

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