Native Plant of the Month: Oregon Oak

Picture of Oregon Oak.

Common Name: Oregon Oak

Binomial Name: Quercus garryana

Soil Type: Drought-Tolerant

Sunlight: Prefers Full Sun

Form/Growth: Oval Form, Groves Create a Canopy

Plant Type: Medium-Sized Tree

Foliage: Deciduous

Flowering: Yes (Catkins)

Picture of Oregon Oak.

Reaching up to 75 ft tall and 60 ft wide, Oregon oaks are also occasionally grown small and shrubby.  The 5” long leaves are shiny, dark green on top, paler and hairy below, and the leaf blades are oblong in outline with 3 to 7 deep, rounded lobes on each side.  This native produces edible acorns surrounded by a shallow, scaly cap and reach up to 3 cm long.

Oregon oaks are very drought-tolerant, historically making natural wildfires common in the drier portions of the Pacific Northwest, where these trees are found.  Due to advances in natural fire suppression, today Oregon oaks are known as excellent firewood, and although the wood has a beautiful grain, it is not used much for commercial purposes due to its difficulty to season without warping.

Oregon oak woodlands throughout the Pacific Northwest are critical habitats for a number of plant, animal, and bryophyte species that are rare or virtually eradicated in the