Quercus garryana – Oregon White Oak
Botanical Name: Quercus garryana
Alternate Name: Garry Oak
The Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana) is a large and majestic tree. It is found growing in the western coastal states of the United States – from British Columbia to Southern California. It is one of only four deciduous oaks that grows naturally along the west coast. It can be found growing in stands in the Willamette Valley. Also known as the Garry Oak, it was named after Nicholas Garry, who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company as a deputy governor.
The growth habit is rounded with a dense, spreading crown, and thick, crooked limbs. It grows to a height of 50-75 feet tall with a spread of 40-60 feet, but can grow even larger. The juvenile trees have a shrubby look to them.
The flowers of the Oregon White Oak are catkins – both male and female are found on the same tree. The fruits are acorns that cover the tree in summer and fall. These are a favorite of small mammals and birds, as they don’t taste as bitter as other acorns.
The leaves have the classic rounded lobes of an oak tree. They are a handsome, deep green with pale green undersides and grow up to 4-6 inches in length with 5-9 lobes. They can develop galls caused by insects, but this is not a threat to the health of the tree. The bark is white and scaly, but as the tree matures, it develops attractive, fissured, gray bark.