Oaktopia

Tree Blog

Quercus virginiana | Palo Alto

For those unfamiliar with the species, Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) presents rather generically. Many people are accustomed to oak trees presenting somewhat flamboyant leaves, with strong lobing and sinusing. The simple green paddle-shaped leaves of Southern Live Oak offering limited morphology by which to identify. This tree is one of the only older Southern Live Oaks in Palo Alto, where the tree is now, slowly, being adopted as a street tree. It is unfortunate that this tree remains obscure in coastal California, as it is actually one of the most dependable and trouble-free ornamental trees ever used or tested. Acorn production is rare in coastal California, leading to very low levels of potential invasiveness.

Dave Muffly