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Plant Profile: Engelmann Oak (Quercus engelmannii)

quercus-engelmannii-lvsEngelmann oak, also known as mesa oak and Pasadena oak, is rare tree native to the open woods and chaparral in the foothills of Southern California and northern Baha California. It is a member of the oak family, Fagaceae, that also includes beeches and chestnuts. The single trunked trees have sparsely branched limbs and brown to light gray to whitish bark. The leathery blue-green leaves are oval with shallow lobes, 1-2.5 inches long, and may be wavy. They are usually evergreen but may be deciduous in hot dry summers. The small yellow flowers are produced in male and female catkins in the same tree and the female flowers give way to acorns half to one inch long. Trees are valued for their handsome foliage and the shade they can provide. Although the wood is strong it warps and cracks when dried so is not a good source of timber.

Type: Evergreen tree

Outstanding Feature: Foliage

Form: Upright with rounded crown

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Small yellow flowers are produced in male and female catkins in the same tree

Size: 40-60’ H x 40-50’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average to fertile, moderately moist, well-drained; somewhat drought tolerant

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to Pythium, Armillaria, Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora, goldspotted oak borer, galls, acorn predation by beetles

Propagation: Seed