Canyon Live Oak Quercus chrysolepis

Canyon Live Oaks are an evergreen oak found more commonly in canyons and slopes the interoir and elevated parts of the Santa Lucia range. Trees range in size from large shrubs of 15 feet (in dry locations) to 60 foot tall with spreading branches although the size and shape of the tree vary greatly depending on conditions. Leaves are leathery dark green typically 1-2 inches in length with a light grayish-green underside.

canyon live oak leaves
Typical leaves of the Canyon Live Oak.

canyon live oak
These Canyon Live Oak form a dense canopy of many trees up to 30 feet in height.

canyon live oak leaves
In the hand the easiest way to identify the Canyon Live Oak is to flip the leaf over to its underside. While the top of the leaves can look very similar to an Interior Live Oak, the difference is on the underside.

canyon live oak leaves
The underside of the Canyon Live Oak is pale green to gray, sometimes with tiny silver hairs on the underside.

canyon live oak acorns
The acorn takes 18 months to mature at 1 to 1-1/2 inches long.

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