Alphabetical Plant Listing

Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon Live Oak)

Canyon Live Oak, Maul Oak, Golden-Cup Oak


Magnificent and long-lived (up to 300 years), Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon Live Oak) is a variable evergreen shrub or tree depending on its location. It grows as a shrub and may form dense thickets on mountain slopes and ridgetops, and it grows as a tree in sheltered, moist canyons. In open areas the crown is dense, wide-spreading, and reaches nearly to the ground. In closed stands the crown is smaller in diameter and concentrated in the top half of the tree. The bark is smooth to flaky, fissured in small stems and more deeply furrowed in large stems. The leaves are thick, leathery, oblong, up to 4 in. long (10 cm), usually spiny in young trees and smooth in old trees, although both types can appear on the same tree. The foliage color varies from blue-green to glossy, dark-green. The male flowers are in catkins while the female flowers are solitary or in sparsely-flowered spikes. The ellipsoidal, light chestnut brown acorns are a valuable source of food for small mammals and birds. Canyon Live Oak is well adapted to arid conditions thanks to its deep and extensive root system that access deep sources of water during summer drought. Canyon Live is considered to be the most beautiful of the California oaks. Open-grown trees with their wide crowns of evergreen leaves make attractive urban trees. The ability of Canyon Live Oak to grow on steep, rocky, moving slopes makes it an excellent stabilizer of soils on steep slopes.

  • Grows up to 30-80 ft. tall (9-24 m) and 30-60 ft. wide (9-18 m).
  • A full sun to part shade lover, this tree is easily grown in very acidic to slightly alkaline, well-drained, loam or sand or clay soils. Drought tolerant once established, it is also moderately tolerant of salt spray.
  • May be affected by sudden oak death, crown rot, mistletoe, armillaria and invasive shot hole borer, goldspotted oak borer, aphids, caterpillars.
  • Propagate by seed. No pretreatment is necessary. Plant immediately – outdoors or in deep containers to accommodate long initial taproot. Many oaks require cold temperatures to initiate shoot development.
  • Toxic to horses.
  • Native to Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Quercus - Oaks
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 30' – 80' (9m – 24m)
Spread 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Salt
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Prairie and Meadow

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JKehoe_Photos, Laura Camp, Flickr, Jared Quentin, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 9
Climate Zones 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Quercus - Oaks
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 30' – 80' (9m – 24m)
Spread 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Salt
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Prairie and Meadow

Guides with Quercus - Oaks

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