Tree Blog

Quercus rubra | Palo Alto

Many of the non-native oaks utilized in California over the last 150 years have been representatives of what is often, and loosely, called the Eastern Red Oak group. The most widely-planted of these is the namesake, Red Oak (Q. rubra) which is also the most widely distributed species of the group, with an enormous native range covering much of the eastern half of the United States. Red Oaks have proven survivor trees in California. The primary drawback identified with this species is its huge trunk base, which can cause severe infrastructure damage, as has been seen along El Camino Real in Mountain View, California. This nicely symmetrical specimen from Palo Alto shows the typical spreading growth habit of the species, and has good fall color by the standards of the species, which is quite variable, from red to brownish yellow.

Dave Muffly