Oaktopia

Tree Blog

Quercus gravesii | Coastal Southern California

Q. gravesii has interesting potential in California urban forestry. It has the drought tolerance needed to be a sustainable species many places in California. It tolerates our arid, alkaline soils. Its size is one which is hard to find in the California nursery industry, and will likely prove to be deeply-rooted and non-invasive. If acorns are produced, which will likely be rare in California, they are of a small to moderate size. The thick waxy cuticle on the leaf gives excellent resistance to powdery mildew, and none has been observed on Q. gravesii growing in various locations around California. Finally, the striking winter coloration adds some welcome vibrancy to a landscape, that in northern California at least, relies largely on fall color trees from areas with a much shorter growing season, and fall color that occurs prior to optimal timing for the length of the growing season.

Dave Muffly