Columnar english oak tree

SelecTree: Tree Detail

General Notes

Similar to valley oak but not native to California. Requires a moderate amount of water. Hardy to 10 degrees F.

Native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia.

A Quercus robur in Pleasanton is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 92 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 146 inches and a crown spread of 94 feet.

Family: Fagaceae

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Erect or Spreading and requires ample growing space.

Oval, Rounded or Umbrella Shape.

Has Deciduous foliage.

Height: 60 – 120 feet.

Width: 30 – 80 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.

Longevity Greater than 150 years.

Leaves Ovate or Oblong and Lobed, Medium to Dark Green, Bronze, Gold or No Change, Deciduous.

Flowers Inconspicuous. Flowers in Spring. Has separate male and female flowers on the same tree (monoecious).

Brown Acorn, Medium (0.50 – 1.50 inches), fruiting in Fall or Winter.

Bark Dark Brown or Dark Gray, Fissured.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate in Leaf.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate out of Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.

Columnar Oak Information: What Are Columnar Oak Trees

If you think your yard is too small for oak trees, think again. Columnar oak trees (Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’) offer the magnificent green lobed foliage and ridged bark that other oaks have, without taking up all that space. What are columnar oak trees? They are slow-growing, slender oaks with a tight, upright and narrow profile. Read on for more columnar oak information.

What are Columnar Oak Trees?

These unusual and attractive trees, also called upright English oak trees, were first found growing wild in a forest in Germany. These types of columnar oaks were propagated by grafting.

Columnar oak tree growth is moderately slow and the trees grow up, not out. With these trees, you don’t have to worry about the spreading lateral branches you associate

with other oaks. Columnar oak trees might grow to 60 feet tall, but the spread will remain about 15 feet.

The dark green leaves turn brown or yellow in autumn and remain on the tree for months before they fall in winter. The trunk of the columnar oak is covered in dark brown bark, deeply ridged and very attractive. The tree has small acorns hanging on the branches most of the winter that attract squirrels.

Columnar Oak Information

These ‘fastigata’ types of columnar oaks are easy-care trees with outstanding ornamental qualities. Because the columnar oak tree growth direction is up, not out, they are useful in areas where you don’t have room for wide trees; the crown of the columnar oak remains tight and no branches break out of the crown and wander out from the trunk.

Ideal columnar oak tree growth conditions include a sunny location. Plant these oaks in direct sun on well-drained acidic or slightly alkaline soil. They are extremely adaptable and very tolerant of urban conditions. They also tolerate drought and aerosol salt.

Caring for Columnar Oak Trees

You will find that caring for columnar oak trees is not difficult. The trees tolerate drought, but do best with occasional irrigation.

These are good trees for cooler climates. They thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 or 5 through 8.

Plant Finder

Skyrocket English Oak

Skyrocket English Oak

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 50 feet

Spread: 10 feet


Hardiness Zone: 4a

Other Names: Truffle Oak


An extremely beautiful tall tree with a narrowly columnar habit of growth, ideal for articulation or formal screening in the home landscape; extremely tough and adaptable, faster growing than other oaks

Ornamental Features

Skyrocket English Oak has dark green foliage throughout the season. The lobed leaves do not develop any appreciable fall colour. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. However, the fruit can be messy in the landscape and may require occasional clean-up.

Landscape Attributes

Skyrocket English Oak is a dense deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a narrowly upright and columnar growth habit. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It is a good choice for attracting squirrels to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Messy

Skyrocket English Oak is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Vertical Accent
  • Hedges/Screening

Planting & Growing

Skyrocket English Oak will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 150 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Quercus robur f. fastigiata – Columnar English Oak

Next Plant ” ” Previous Plant Availability Shippable Sizes These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. Most of these plants are shipped bare root, read about shipping methods 38 to 42 inches tall – Ships Nov-May

ADD TO CART $35.00

35 available now. Guaranteed to Grow! Or you’ll get a free replacement. FREE Shipping!
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Shippable Sizes These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. Most of these plants are shipped bare root, read about shipping methods 38 to 42 inches tall – Ships Nov-May

ADD TO CART $35.00

35 available now. #landscape #tree #toprated #drought #hedge #height=55 #hardiness=-30 #sun=4-5 #habit=upright #branch=medium #spread=clumping #end Average Height: 50-60 feet
Hardiness: zones 4-8
Aspect: likes sun Leaves: deciduous, dark green
Acorns: medium long, prized by wildlife as a fall and winter food source (inedible to humans)
An extremely drought tolerant tree with a tall, narrow form and an extremely dense branching habit. Columnar English Oak is a very popular for its ornamental value planted as a single tree or in small groups. They are very useful for forming a fast growing privacy hedge when planted in a line with 8-10 foot spacing between trees. The branches are so thick that the hedge quickly becomes impenetrable and the large leaves provide an excellent wind and sound barrier. Although the trees are deciduous and the leaves drop off in the winter, the branches are dense enough to still provide a visual block.
Oak trees are popular for harsh climates because of their cold and heat tolerance, as well as their ability to thrive in drought. Trees do best when planted in well drained soil but will tolerate clay as well. Water regularly for the first few years while the roots get established and use half the recommended dosage when fertilizing. We fertilize our trees with Osmocote Plus, one tablespoon in the spring for oak trees compared to two or three tablespoons for most other plants.
Quercus robur f. fastigiata is propagated through seed so there is a small amount of variability between plants. We go through our seed beds and remove any seedlings that don’t display a high quality form to ensure the most uniform crop possible.
Tall Columnar English Oak showing their incredibly dense growth
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Trees usually look best planted in groups
Image Credit: Wikipedia
As the leaves start dropping off in the winter the tight, upright branching pattern is revealed
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Trees grow quite tall but maintain their narrow form
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Close up of the leaves
Image Credit: Wikipedia
The dense foliage at the bottom makes this an excellent impenetrable hedge plant
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Shippable Sizes These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. Most of these plants are shipped bare root, read about shipping methods Quercus robur fastigiata 38 to 42 inches tall – Ships Nov-May

ADD TO CART $35.00

35 available now.

How Your Plants Are Packaged And Shipped

A bare root Sitka Spruce
A 2 gallon Sitka Spruce with all the soil washed away Bare root and washed root are very similar but in the nursery trade typically bare root plants are trees which are grown in the field and dug up in the winter with no soil attached. These plants are typically cheaper due to lower growing costs and are popular for large projects where a large number of plants are needed. When the are dug they lose any roots that grew away from the main root ball and typically these plants will grow a little slower in their first year as they focus on producing new roots before returning to fast top growth. Despite the longer establishment period, bare root plants benefit from the root pruning and will produce a superior long-term root structure than washed root plants. Certain plant species and varieties that are prone to poor root system development are only available bare root for this reason. Bare root plants have high success rates but are not tolerant of planting directly into windy areas, especially with evergreen species as the remaining roots will not be sufficient to withstand drying winds. If you are planting in high-wind areas you should consider ordering washed root plants.
Washed root plants are grown in containers like one or two gallon pots in a standard nursery setting and can ship much earlier in the fall because we don’t have to wait for deep winter dormancy before handling the plants. For shipping the plants are removed from their containers and the soil is gently washed off of the roots, preserving most of the small feeder roots. We make minor root pruning cuts to elimate clumps of circling roots from some plants but typically don’t remove more than about 5-10% of the fine roots, compared to bare root plants which typically lose around 60-70% of the fine feeder roots. Washed root plants are much quicker to establish and are suitable for planting directly in windy locations but because of the higher growing costs and shipping weight will be more expensive than field grown bare root plants. Some plant species that are especially prone to root circling are not grown in containers but only in the field.
For most plant species we choose the growing method that has the highest success rate for that plant’s root structure but some plants can be grown just as well either way so both forms can be listed for sale at once. Under the “availability” section for each plant variety any plants listed by container size (such as 1 gallon, 2 gallon, etc.) are washed root plants while plants listed by height (such as 20-30 inches tall) or any listing saying “field grown” are bare root plants.

Packaging Plants For Shipping

Most plants are shipped wrapped in newspaper, then moistened. Large bundles of plants can be shipped in a single long box. Some plants, usually bamboo, are shipped in their container while others have their roots washed of soil and wrapped in damp paper and plastic. Most plant varieties can be shipped year-round, but sometimes certain plant species or large sizes do best when shipped dormant. You can order these to reserve yours during the summer and then they will be shipped in November when they are ready to go.

Your plants are placed in tight fitting boxes and strapped to the box so they don’t move around and sustain damage. These are 3′ tall Coast Redwoods.


We prune both the tops and the roots of our plants at least once per year while they are growing in our nursery to ensure they develop a strong, dense form. Regular annual pruning goes a long way to ensure a healthy branching structure and this is often a missed step in many nurseries. Pruning a plant back hard after it has been neglected pruning-wise often results in an irregular branch habit or multiple leaders. However, with annual pruning this is not the case and so it is important to start pruning even in the first year of growth. We also prune the roots of our plants every winter which causes them to produce a much more branched structure and helps to elimate tangled masses that hinder future development. Plants that have been root pruned establish themselves much more quickly than root bound plants. Generally, hardwood plants will be pruned in the winter and conifers will be pruned in the summer. Pruning conifers is a little bit trickier because it must be done while the new candles are still young, otherwise it can take an extra year to form a new upright leader bud which slows the next year’s growth rate down.

Pruning For Shipping

Before shipping plants we prune the tops and roots one last time. Conifers will usually have very little top pruning except to balance long branches. Shrubs are usually pruned to around 1-2 feet tall to encourage low branch development and small to medium sized trees are usually pruned to around 36-40 inches. Pruning trees at this height encourages dominant branches to begin forming around 3 feet from the ground which typically looks the best in most situations. However, if you want a tree to have branching start higher (some city codes require trees to not branch below 4 feet) we have longer boxes available. To request taller trees please contact us at least three days before your ship date. Depending on your location and the shipping routes there may be a fee for oversize package handling (usually about $15 for a 60″ box).

Tall trees (Oaks, Ginkgo, large Maples, etc.) are pruned to 40″ to encourage crown development from about 36″ and up
Small and medium trees (short Maples, Redbuds, Stewartia, etc.) are pruned 10-20″ above the prune line from last year
Shrubs (Weigela, Hydrangea, Viburnum, etc.) are pruned to 18″ tall and root pruned one last time

Read More About How Your Plants Are Shipped

All Plants Are Guaranteed To Arrive In Good Condition

If you have any damaged plants please email us at [email protected] and specify which plants were damaged. Please keep all the packaging material in case it needs to be inspected by the shipping company.

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Columnar English Oak

Columnar English Oak is a deciduous tree that grows moderately fast. This tree works well in small spaces because it grows tall and narrow. With this tree variety, you can get the beauty of an oak tree without compromising the growing space needed to house a larger species of oak. This tree is commonly planted along streets and in landscapes.

Since Columnar English Oak still produces acorns, you should consider this when placing this tree. Smaller trees will not pose much of a nuisance, but larger trees may produce large amounts of acorns. The acorns have a little fruit the size of a marble with a cap on top. The cap is bumpy and holds the fruit to the tree. This tree is also deer resistant which makes it an excellent candidate for wooded plantings. As with any young tree, it is essential to protect the bark during the fall when deer are in the rut.

Columnar English Oak will grow up to fifty feet tall when fully mature. This variety will grow fifteen feet wide when it is mature. This oak works best when planted in full sun environments. If you are looking for a beautiful specimen tree to add to your landscape, consider installing the Columnar English Oak.

Quercus Robur ‘Fastigiata’

Flower Color- None

Foliage Color- Dark green in the summer turning yellow in the fall and brown over winter.

Zone- 5-8

Height- 50 feet tall

Spread- 15 feet wide

Light- Full sun

Details- This is a unique shade tree that works well in small areas. The growth pattern of this tree is tall and skinny which allows it to be planted in small areas. This oak works well when planted in rows or windbreaks.

Other oak tree options.

  • English Oak
  • Northern Red Oak
  • Pin Oak
  • Swamp White Oak
  • Valley Oak

Oak is the common name for several hundred species of the genus Quercus with a wide variety of trees. They are native to the northern hemisphere and include both deciduous and evergreen species. Evergreen species are commonly called “live oak” and are not a distinct botanical group.

Description of Quercus – the Mighty Oak

Culturally, the oak is a symbol of strength and endurance. It is the national tree of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Oaks were considered sacred by the Celts, and the name of their priests, druid, comes from the words for oak and for knowledge.

Oak trees grow slowly to a mature height of one hundred feet with a spread of fifty to eighty feet. They are deciduous broadleaf trees. Most oak leaves, though not all, have lobed margins that turn yellow or brown in the autumn. The edible fruit is a nut, called an acorn in English.

The oak typically lives from 200 to 600 years. Oaks are used as food plants by the larvae of many Lepidoptera species.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom – Plantae
  • Division – Magnoliophyta
  • Class – Magnoliopsida
  • Order – Fagales
  • Family – Fagaceae
  • Genus – Quercus

Cultivating an Oak

Oaks prefer deep, rich, slightly acidic loam with plenty of organic matter. They are, however, quite tolerant of other soils. Their leaves are slightly acidic and, if allowed to compost where they fall, will gradually change the soil to the tree’s preferred pH level.

These trees grow best in full sun to light shade. Many oaks are tolerant of urban pollution and soil salt, so they are often grown as street trees. They are hardy to zone 4.

Most oak species prefer evenly moist soil, but are tolerant of wet and dry conditions once they are established.

Oaks need little maintenance. Dead or damaged wood can be removed at any time. Other pruning should be done in late winter or early spring.

Trees should be transplanted while still small. Oaks should be transplanted in the spring for best results. Water the transplanted saplings regularly for the first two seasons, until the root system is established.

Oaks seed themselves readily if acorns are left on the ground.

Problems to Watch For

Most oaks are not troubled by pests or diseases. The most common diseases are a water mold, sudden oak death (Phytophthora ramorum), and a fungus, oak wilt. Older trees may suffer from root rot.

Uses for Oak Trees

Most oaks are large trees! They are usually planted as specimen and/or shade trees. The leaves of many species turn a brilliant gold in autumn.

Oaks are hardwood trees, and are valuably commercially for furniture and flooring, especially the various red oak and white oak species. The bark of the cork oak is used to produce stopper for wine and olive bottles. Several species are valued for making barrels to age wine and spirits; the oak wood contributes to the taste of the final product.

Traditionally, white oak bark was dried and used in medical preparations. Oak bark is rich in tannin, and is still used in tanning leather. Acorns can be ground for flour, roasted for acorn coffee, or used as a food source for some livestock.

Varieties of Oak – From the Victorian Gardener

Chestnut Oak

Chestnut Oak (Quercus Acuminata) – A tall tree with a maximum height of over 150 feet, with grey flaky bark and chestnut-like leaves, shiny on the upper surface and greyish beneath. This should be a very useful Oak in certain soils in Britain supposed to be inimical to our own Oak. Eastern States and Canada, and westwards, in dry limestone soil.

White Oak

White Oak (Quercus Alba) – A fine forest tree, sometimes 150 feet high, with deeply-lobed but not sharp-pointed leaves, and grey bark scaling off in plates. A native of Canada and the more northern United States, its hardiness need not be doubted, and the wood is hard and tough and good.

Turkey Oak

Turkey Oak (Quercus Cerris) – This is a valuable tree for garden and park. Though not unlike the common Oak in growth and branching, it is readily distinguished by its deeper green and finely cut foliage, and by its mossy-cupped acorns. It is also much more rapid in growth, and will flourish in light and varied soils. It retains its foliage longer than most other trees, and some of its varieties are almost evergreen. The chief of these is the Lucombe Oak, a tree of graceful growth, which rapidly ascends into a tall cone of foliage and retains its leaves through mild winters. The Fulham Oak is a similar tree of hybrid origin. It is also partially evergreen, and differs from the Lucombe Oak chiefly in its habit of growth being more spreading. The variety known as Q. austriaca sempervirens is a form of the Turkey Oak sub-evergreen in character and of medium growth, and useful for small gardens. These varieties rarely equal the wild tree in beauty or character, and have the disadvantage of being increased by grafting, which bars them from ever attaining the stature and dignity of the wild tree.

Scarlet Oak The Scarlet Oak (Quercus Coccinea) – A forest tree, in its native country growing to 160 feet high, and one of the best N. American Oaks. It is a beautiful tree at all seasons, but particularly so in the autumn, when the rich scarlet and crimson hues of its foliage are very handsome.

Hungarian Oak

Hungarian Oak (Quercus Conferta) – This is a noble tree in its own country, and one of the quickest growing Oaks in cultivation. It has much larger leaves than the common Oak, and they are cut in much the same way. It is a good Oak to plant as a tree of the future, as it is very hardy and grows well in almost all kinds of soil.

Bur Oak

Bur Oak (Quercus Macrocarpa) – A large forest tree of a maximum height of 160 feet, with a trunk as much as 8 feet in diameter, and rather large, thin, deeply incised, but blunt-lobed, leaves, shiny on the upper side and whitish below. The timber is good and tough. A native of rich soils from Nova Scotia to Manitoba and also southwards.

Post Oak Post Oak (Quercus Minor) – A tall tree, sometimes in its best state 100 feet high, with rough grey bark and deeply incised but blunt pointed leaves. The wood is very hard and durable. N. America.

Water Oak

Water Oak (Quercus Nigra) – A forest tree, though not so tall as other Oaks-80 feet. There is a variety of it in cultivation named nobilis, which has leaves 9 inches or more in length of a rich green. It makes a handsome small tree. In wet and swampy ground, E. and W. United States, also southwards.

Pin Oak

Pin Oak (Quercus Palustris) – A forest tree with a maximum height of 120 feet. It is one of the quickest growing Oaks, and its chief beauty is the tender green, almost yellow, of the unfolding foliage in May and rich autumn tints. It soon makes a fine tree, and is one of the best to plant in marshy places, as it grows naturally in such ground. Leaves deeply cut, bright green and smooth. N. America.

British Oak

British Oak (Quercus Pedunculata) – Most valuable of British trees, and most beautiful in old age in many different states alike in wood, park, chase, by rivers, and in pasture land, and one which comes well into the home grounds in its old state, giving noble shade and fine beauty of form, as at Shrubland and in many other places. Botanists give this and the other British Oak under the general term of Q. Robur, but they are wrong, as the Oaks are distinct in form and habit. Of the varieties that differ from the type in growth the most distinct are fastigiata or pyramidalis, which is of much the same style of growth as the Lombardy Poplar, but does not grow so tall. The Weeping Oak (var. pendula) is as weeping as the Weeping Ash, and is a vigorous grower and a beautiful and graceful tree. There are several forms with cut leaves, the most distinct being those named filicifolia, or the Fern-leaved Oak, heteraphylla, and scolopendrifolia, which has leaves like a miniature Harts-tongue Fern. There are variegated forms of both the common type and of the Cypress Oak, but they are not so important for landscape effect as the varieties that take a natural color. As yet we have never seen any variety of Oak as handsome as the wild tree. It is frequently in forests over 100 feet high, giving a great quantity of valuable timber. The leaves fall earlier than those of the Durmast Oak, and are more varied in yellowish and brownish colors at the commencement of growth.

Willow Oak

Willow Oak (Quercus Phellos) – A forest tree 80 feet high, and unlike the other Oaks in its foliage, narrow and long like that of a Willow and whitish beneath, giving the tree a silvery appearance on a windy day. It is not a common tree, though it was introduced from N. America in the last century. It is of slow growth in cold places and soils, and thrives well and grows rapidly on well-drained light soils, especially in a gravelly subsoil. N. America.

Swamp White Oak

Swamp White Oak (Quercus Platinoides) – A large forest tree with flaky green bark, and in its best state reaching a height of over 100 feet, with slightly lobed leaves and the acorns on rather long stalks. It has good, tough, closely-grained wood, and is a native of moist and swampy soils in Canada and west to Michigan.

”’ Rock Chestnut Oak”’

Rock Chestnut Oak (Quercus Prinus) – Sometimes attains a height of 100 feet, the leaves somewhat chestnut-like, and bearing an edible acorn, in dry soil. Eastern States and Ontario and southwards.

Champion Oak

Champion Oak (Quercus Rubra) – A noble forest tree with a maximum height of nearly 150 feet, and one of the finest of American trees, remarkable for the richness of its autumn tints. It is a fine park tree, and also makes a beautiful shade tree for lawns. It grows best on a free and deep soil, and is much more rapid in growth on moist than on dry soils. Canada and Eastern States.

Durmast Oak

Durmast Oak (Quercus Sessiliflora) – The second species of British Oak, and is often included with Q. pedunculata, but is distinct from a planters point of view, not being so long-lived or quite so noble a tree. It is none the less one of the finest forest trees of northern countries, and has a straighter and more cylindrical stem and form of tree even than the common Oak, is of a deeper green, denser foliage, and giving better covert and more leaf soil. The leaves a little longer than those of our other native Oak, sometimes, in mild winters, remain on the tree until the others come. Its area of distribution is slightly different, growing less in plains and valleys than our other Oak, but inhabiting plateaux and slopes of hills and mountains, rising to elevations of 3,000 to 4,000 feet, and also different from the common Oak in its thriving on gravelly, sandy, and calcareous soil. The qualities of the wood of the two kinds have been the subject of much discussion, perhaps often confused by the influence of soils. The wood of Q. sessiliflora is generally thought to be less tough and less resisting than that of the common Oak. It has a straighter fibre and finer grain. It has several varieties of little value.

Black Oak Black Oak (Quercus Velutina) – A tall tree up to 150 feet, the outer bark a very dark brown with deeply cut leaves with sharp points. It is rare with us and worth a trial from seed sown where we wish it to grow, or from young seedling plants. Northern United States, Canada, and westwards, and also in the southern states.

Quercus Acuta

Quercus Acuta – Native of Japan, with dark leathery leaves about the size of those of the common-Cherry Laurel. It has not been long enough in the country to enable one to judge its merits as an adult tree, but even as a bush it is a fine object. Q. Buergeri robusta is a vigorous large-leaved form.

Quercus Agrifolia

Quercus Agrifolia – The Enceno of the Californian coast is a distinct Oak rarely seen in gardens, in aspect not unlike some forms of Q. Ilex, but the leaves are of a different shade of green. Dr Engelmann says it is “a large tree, with a stout, low trunk, often 8 to 12 feet, sometimes 16 to 21 feet, in circumference, and with a spread of branches of 120 feet.”

Californian Live Oak

Californian Live Oak (Quercus Chrysolepis) – Along the coast ranges and along the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, it forms a tree 3 to 5 feet in diameter of stem, or, at higher elevations, is reduced to a shrub. It has pretty spiny-toothed dark green leaves, somewhat golden on the under surface, and in its native country it is a beautiful evergreen tree.

Quercus Coccifera

Quercus Coccifera – A dense bush with small spiny dark green leaves and very small acorns, often hardly larger than a pea, which now and then ripen in S. England. S. Europe.

Quercus Densiflora

A tree 50 to 60 feet high, in some positions often a shrub. At Kew it grows freely in rather sheltered places, and produces fine leathery leaves of a dark green color, in outline somewhat like those of a small Spanish Chestnut. Mountains of California.

Quercus Glabra

Quercus Glabra – A Japanese Oak, with large handsome leaves, the acorns borne in upright spikes. Several varieties are mentioned in catalogues, but they are hardly distinct. At Kew the species makes a large bush, and is thoroughly hardy.

Quercus Ilex

Quercus Ilex – The best-known of Evergreen Oaks, and the most valuable for Britain. Old trees, which have been allowed plenty of space and have been allowed to grow naturally, resemble in form the Olive trees of the Italian coast and of the Riviera. It is one of the most variable of Oaks, but few of the named varieties-and there are many-are so beautiful as the wild kind.

Cork Oak

Cork Oak (Quercus Suber) – The Cork Oak, except for the curious growth of its bark, hardly differs in effect from the Holm Oak. There are fine old trees of this at Mount Edgcumbe, Goodwood, and other places, though the Cork Oak is not hardy enough for our climate generally.

Live Oak

Live Oak (Quercus Virens) – In its native country a tree of the first economic value, it deserves all the encomiums passed on it by Cobbett in his Woodlands. All the trees in England I have seen under this name are, however, forms of Q. Ilex, and I doubt there being any fine trees of the true Q. virens in cultivation in this country.

Oak Photos

Quercus imbricaria Michx. – shingle oak Acorns – quercus

Beautify Your Landscape With Oak

The majestic beauty of an oak is truly something to marvel at. If you don’t have one in your landscape already, check with your local garden store to find a variety that suits the climate in your region.

California black oak (Quercus kelloggii)

(click on each photo to enlarge image)

  • Size: Grow to 80′ tall and 3′ in diameter, but usually smaller.

  • Leaves: Simple, alternate, deciduous. Pinnately lobed with 7 pointed and bristle-tipped lobes.

  • Fruit: Acorn with deep cap; 1″-2″ long.

  • Twigs: Stout with buds clustered near the tip.

  • Bark: Dark with irregular plates. About 1″ thick.

  • Distribution: California black oak is most common in California, but it stretches as far north as the Umpqua Valley in Oregon.

Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana)

(click on each photo to enlarge image)

  • Size: Grows to 80′ tall and 3′ in diameter. Has a rounded crown when open-grown.

  • Leaves: Simple, alternate, deciduous. Pinnately lobed with 7-9 rounded lobes; lobes often irregular. 3″-6″ long and 2″-5″ wide.

  • Fruit: Acorn with shallow cap; about 1″ long.

  • Twigs: Stout; several buds clustered at tip; fuzzy buds. Pit is star-shaped.

  • Bark: Grayish; may be shaggy or have shallow ridges and fissures.

  • Distribution: Oregon white oak occurs throughout the Siskiyou Mountains, but seldom ventures west of the Coast Range summit. Only along the Columbia Gorge does it venture into eastern Oregon.

canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis)

(click on each photo to enlarge image)

  • Size: May be a shrub to 15′ tall or a tree to 80′ tall and 2′ in diameter.

  • Leaves: Two distinctive types on same plant. All are simple, alternate, evergreen; 1″-4″ long. Some have smooth edges while some are spiked like holly leaves.

  • Fruit: Acorn from 1/2″ – 2″ long. Cap is variable, but generally shallow.

  • Twigs: Slender; buds clustered at tips. Pith is star-shaped.

  • Bark: Grayish-brown and scaly. Thin (about 1″ thick).

  • Distribution: Canyon live oak grows in the rough, dry country of southwestern Oregon and south through California. It grows along canyon bottoms or other places where it has favorable soil and moisture.

For more information about these species see “Trees to Know in Oregon”.

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