Oaktopia

Tree Blog

Quercus rugosa | University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley

Here we see Netleaf Oak (Quercus rugosa) at the University of California Botanical Garden in Berkeley. Often it seems oak trees display considerable contempt for the human concepts of "species". Although the range of Netleaf Oak is considered to extend from New Mexico in the United States, far south to Guatemala. Investigating this "species" through its range reveals shrubs that barely exceed 10 feet in height, typically with fairly small serrated/spined leaves, all the way to large, smooth edged leaves to to the southern end of the range. This tree represents types that would be found in the more southerly reaches of the range. From a distance, the tree gives the impression of Southern Magnolia, with similarly sized/shaped/colored leaves, but a more upright growth habit, and less glossiness to the leaf.

Dave Muffly