Quercus gambelii x macrocarpa | New Mexico
Nature played the hybrid game long before humans began to learn her secrets, and the stakes in nature are literally life and death. Here we see a tree discovered deep in the New Mexico wilderness. Michael Melendrez, a nurseryman and horticulturist from New Mexico, has spent decades searching out the unusual oaks of the American Southwest, and he has discovered some very rare creatures. This is clearly an ancient tree, and it is also clearly in decline - in fact, the arrangement of leaves directly on many branches suggest that this tree came very close to dying, and then rains returned, and it was able to make a partial recovery. Judging from the growth habit of the tree, it appears to be a Q. macrocarpa. But the location where this tree can be found is more than 500 miles west of the official range of Q. macrocarpa.