I Have An Oak, An Oak!

Is it an oak?

A  baby oak!  Wheeee!   Quercus agrifolia or Q. chrysolepis or Q. wislizenii?  Or a hybrid?   (They hybridize freely among themselves, the hussies.)   I don't know, and it doesn't matter.  It is welcome here. 

When I tried and failed with the local acorns, I did some research and learned that baby native Oaks are happy to start their lives in shade.  They grow for a while, strengthen, establish, in the process either outgrowing or outliving the neighbors of their babyhood, emerging into the blazing California sun powerful and ready to live for five hundred years. 

I've tried acorns in the  past. There are several oaks nearby, and I can collect fresh acorns in the fall.  I knew that your happiest oak tree is going to come from an acorn harvested from a tree in the immediate local area.  California oaks are very localized and adapt precisely to an area of a few thousand square yards!  When you live 500 years, you have time to specialize.   I did get some seedlings for my first efforts, but either the rabbits ate them or the sun was too powerful and the area too dry for a baby oak. 

This one has sprouted on its own under a Prunus caroliniana.  There's an oak nearby and an acorn might have rolled or been blown there.  I will be happy to sacrifice the Prunus when Baby is ready for full sun.  In the meantime, a hoop of hardware cloth to protect her from rabbits.  An Oak!  Oh happy day!

Is it an oak?


  1. Congratulations. We have pepper trees in our neck of the woods, and I'm constantly having to pull up those seedlings. They get huge!

  2. Thanks Turling!

    Oh yes, those pepper trees. I pull up seedlings too. No wonder they are everywhere!


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