Tree Blog

Quercus lyrata | Menlo Park

The strongly upright growth and robust structure of Overcup Oak (Quercus lyrata) growing in Menlo Park. It is likely the tree was planted just after the house was built, which is likely to have been 80 years prior to taking of the picture. The soils in this part of Menlo Park are deeply alluvial, with a major creek a short distance away. These excellent soil conditions, accompanied by accessible soil moisture, were likely prerequisites for a thriving Overcup Oak anywhere in coastal California. Interestingly, a native California Valley Oak (Quercus lobata) grows a short distance from this tree, and, given the reproductive compatibility between the two species, hybrids are certainly possible. Any hybrids that do occur have potential to be well-structured, large, deciduous trees, with tolerance both for drought, and also moist conditions. 

Dave Muffly