Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

General: Oak Family (Fagaceae). Coast live oak, an evergreen tree 10 to 25 m tall, has a broad, dense crown and widely spreading branches. The lower limbs of ungrazed trees often recline on the ground. Mature bark is gray and shallowly furrowed. Leaves are oblong to oval, 2 to 6 cm in length, cupped, with entire to toothed margins. The upper surface is strongly convex, deep green and smooth, but the lower surface is paler, with hairy-tufted vein axils. Like all oaks, coast live oak is monoecious and wind-pollinated. Acorn cups are composed of thin, flat scales. The one-seeded nuts are 2 to 4 cm long, narrowly conical, and mature in one year. On average, trees have high acorn production once every 2 to 3 years. Flowering takes place from February to April. Fruits mature between August and October.

Distribution: Coast live oak occurs in the coast ranges from north central California southward to northern Baja California. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Public Domain

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden & USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 2 people

Average rating: 3.25 of 5

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [14]:

3 Southern Pacific Border
  • 14. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Occurrence in North America

CAMexico

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Coast live oak occurs in California and northern Mexico. It is distributed along the Coast, Transverse, Peninsular, and Sierra de Juarez ranges from Mendocino County, California, south to Canada El Piquillo, Baja California [8,67,106,114,122]. Limited inland populations occur along watercourses in the Central Valley [72,77]. Coast live oak is also found on the Channel Islands of Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz [34,125]. Quercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia occurs in interior cismontane regions of Baja California and in Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties of California [114]. CalFlora provides a distributional map of coast live oak and its varieties.
  • 114. Munz, Philip A.; Keck, David D. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 122. Paysen, Timothy E.; Derby, Jeanine A.; Black, Hugh, Jr.; Bleich, Vernon C.; Mincks, John W. 1980. A vegetation classification system applied to southern California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-45. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 33 p. [1849]
  • 8. Barbour, Michael G. 1988. Californian upland forests and woodlands. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Billings, William Dwight, eds. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press: 131-164. [13880]
  • 34. Clark, Ronilee A.; Halvorson, William L.; Sawdo, Andell A.; Danielsen, Karen C. 1990. Plant communities of Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park. Tech. Rep. No. 42. Davis, CA: University of California, Institute of Ecology, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 93 p. [18246]
  • 67. Griffin, James R.; Critchfield, William B. 1972. The distribution of forest trees in California. Res. Pap. PSW-82. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 118 p. [1041]
  • 72. Holstein, Glen. 1984. California riparian forests: deciduous islands in an evergreen sea. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management: Proceedings of a conference; 1981 September 17-19; Davis, CA. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 2-22. [5830]
  • 77. Katibah, Edwin F.; Nedeff, Nicole E.; Dummer, Kevin J. 1984. Summary of riparian vegetation aerial and linear extent measurements from the Central Valley Riparian Mapping Project. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management: Proceedings; 1981 September 17-19; Davis, CA. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 46-50. [5824]
  • 106. Minnich, Richard A. 1987. The distribution of forest trees in northern Baja California, Mexico. Madrono. 34(2): 98-127. [6985]
  • 125. Philbrick, Ralph N., Haller, J. R. 1977. The southern California islands. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Malor, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 893-906. [7210]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Calif.; Mexico (Baja California).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Coast live oak occurs in California south to Baja California in Mexico. Within california it is chiefly found in the Outer North Coast Ranges, Central Western California, Southwestern California.

  • *Jepson Manual. 1993. Quercus agrifolia. University of California, Berkeley, Ca.
  • *U.S.Dept.of Agriculture. Quercus agrifolia: distribution
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Supplier: C. Michael Hogan

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: tree

Coast live oak is a native, drought-resistant, evergreen tree, ranging in height from 19 to 82 feet (6-25 m) and in diameter from 1 to 4 feet (0.3-1.2 m) [70,129]. The bark of young trees is smooth. With age, it develops deep furrows, ridges, and a thickness of about 8 to 9% of bole or branch diameter [70,129]. The inner bark and cork layers are thick [43,129]. Open-grown crowns are broad and dense, with foliage often reaching the ground [70]. In open areas trunks are usually 4 to 8 feet (1.2-2.8 m) tall; at this height, primary branches originate and grow horizontally. Trees in dense stands generally have irregular crowns and few lower branches. In closed stands trunks may be branchless up to 20 feet (6.2 m) high, where several branches extend diagonally upward [129]. Coast live oak stands are typically from 40 to 110 years old. Individual trees may live over 250 years [43,129].

The root system consists of a deep taproot that is usually nonfunctional in large trees [35,128]. Several deep main roots may tap groundwater if present within approximately 36 feet (11 m) of the soil surface [31,35,128]. Coast live oak develops extensive horizontal root branches and surface-feeding roots [18,35,128]. Tree roots in southwestern California are associated with mycorrhizae that aid in water uptake during the dry season. A network consisting of roots from 3 coast live oak trees and their and associated mycorrhizae covered a 50- × 13-foot (15- × 4-m) area of the soil profile that reached through weathered granite through to bedrock. Roots in clay soils were not infected with mycorrhizae [18].

  • 18. Bornyasz, M.; Graham, R.; Allen, M. 2002. Distribution of Quercus agrifolia mycorrhizae deep within weathered bedrock: a potential mechanism for transport of stored water. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 821-825. [42377]
  • 31. Canadell, J.; Jackson, R. B.; Ehleringer, J. R.; Mooney, H. A.; Sala, O. E.; Schulze, E.-D. 1996. Maximum rooting depth of vegetation types at the global scale. Oecologia. 108(4): 583-595. [27670]
  • 35. Cooper, William Skinner. 1922. The broad-sclerophyll vegetation of California: An ecological study of the chaparral and its related communities. Publ. No. 319. Washington, DC: The Carnegie Institution of Washington. 145 p. [6716]
  • 43. DeLasaux, Michael J.; Pillsbury, Norman H. 1987. Site index and yield equations for blue oak and coast live oak. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 325-334. [5383]
  • 70. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 128. Plumb, Tim R. 1980. Response of oaks to fire. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management, and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 202-215. [7039]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Trees , evergreen, to 25 m. Bark gray to dark brown or black, ridges broad, rounded. Twigs brown to red-brown, 1.5-3 mm diam., with scattered pubescence or uniformly pubescent. Terminal buds light chestnut brown, ovoid, occasionally subconic, 3-6(-7) mm, glabrous except for cilia along scale margins. Leaves: petiole 4-15(-18) mm, sparsely to densely pubescent. Leaf blade broadly elliptic to ovate or oblong, 15-75 × 10-40 mm, base rounded or cordate, margins entire or spinose, with up to 24 awns, apex blunt to attenuate; surfaces abaxially glabrous or with small axillary tufts of tomentum, veins raised, adaxially distinctly convex, rugose, glabrous, occasionally densely uniformly pubescent. Acorns annual; cup turbinate to cup- or bowl-shaped, rarely saucer-shaped, 9-13 mm high × 9-15 mm wide, covering 1/4-1/3(-1/2) nut, outer surface glabrous to sparsely puberulent, inner surface pubescent on innermost 1/3 to uniformly pubescent, scales acute, tips loose; nut ovoid to oblong or conic, 15-35 × 10-15 mm, glabrous, scar diam. 3.5-8 mm. 2 n = 24.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Quercus acroglandis Kellogg; Q. agrifolia var. oxyadenia (Torrey) J. T. Howell; Q. pricei Sudworth
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: mesic, serpentine soils

Coast live oak occurs in a mediterranean climate characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Climatic extremes are modified near the coast, where trees receive more precipitation than inland populations [43]. Trees generally occur on mesic sites such as north slopes, alluvial terraces, canyon bottoms, or upper streambanks [23,46,101]. Coast live oak's preference for mesic sites is most pronounced in the southern part of its range [106]. Coast live oak may grow where it can access groundwater, but most individuals have extensive shallow root networks [79].

Low-elevation coastal populations of coast live oak generally grow in loam, while higher-elevation coastal populations are associated with shaley clay-loam soil. Inland populations are found on sandy soil, while those in southern California islands grow in clay or clayey loam [34,43]. Coast live oak tolerates serpentine soils [53]. Coast live oak is often associated with depositional environments, deeper soils, and higher organic matter. Coast live oak occurs on soils ranging from silts and clays to weathered granite [18,47].

Elevations of coast live oak populations range from sea level to 3,000 feet (914 m) in central and northern California and from sea level to 5,000 feet (1,524 m) in southern California [70,79,129]. Coast live oak occurs at slightly higher elevations in Baja California. On the coastal side of the Sierra Juarez coast live oak grows below 4,260 (1,300 m), and on western slopes of Sierra San Pedro Martir, elevations range from 3,930 to 5,580 (1,200-1,700 m) [106].

  • 18. Bornyasz, M.; Graham, R.; Allen, M. 2002. Distribution of Quercus agrifolia mycorrhizae deep within weathered bedrock: a potential mechanism for transport of stored water. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 821-825. [42377]
  • 23. Brown, David E. 1982. Californian evergreen forest and woodland. In: Brown, David E., ed. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants. 4(1-4): 66-69. [8887]
  • 34. Clark, Ronilee A.; Halvorson, William L.; Sawdo, Andell A.; Danielsen, Karen C. 1990. Plant communities of Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park. Tech. Rep. No. 42. Davis, CA: University of California, Institute of Ecology, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 93 p. [18246]
  • 43. DeLasaux, Michael J.; Pillsbury, Norman H. 1987. Site index and yield equations for blue oak and coast live oak. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 325-334. [5383]
  • 46. Dougherty, Ron; Riggan, Philip J. 1982. Operational use of prescribed fire in southern California chaparral. In: Conrad, C. Eugene; Oechel, Walter C., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on dynamics and management of Mediterranean-type ecosystems; 1981 June 22-26; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-58. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 502-510. [6055]
  • 47. Downie, Denise D.; Taskey, Ronald D. 1997. Soil characteristics of blue oak and coast live oak ecosystems. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 65-73. [28998]
  • 53. Fiedler, Peggy Lee; Leidy, Robert A. 1987. Plant communities of Ring Mountain Preserve, Marin County, California. Madrono. 34(3): 173-192. [4068]
  • 70. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 79. Knops, Johannes M. H.; Koenig, Walter D. 1994. Water use strategies of five sympatric species of Quercus in central coastal California. Madrono. 41(4): 290-301. [40867]
  • 101. McBride, Joe R.; Strahan, Jan. 1984. Fluvial processes and woodland succession along Dry Creek, Sonoma County, California. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management: Proceedings of a conference; 1981 September 17-19; Davis, CA. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 110-119. [5832]
  • 106. Minnich, Richard A. 1987. The distribution of forest trees in northern Baja California, Mexico. Madrono. 34(2): 98-127. [6985]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the terms: cover, shrub

SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES [147]:

109 Ponderosa pine shrubland

110 Ponderosa pine-grassland

201 Blue oak woodland

202 Coast live oak woodland

203 Riparian woodland

204 North coastal shrub

205 Coastal sage shrub

206 Chamise chaparral

207 Scrub oak mixed chaparral

208 Ceanothus mixed chaparral

214 Coastal prairie

215 Valley grassland

405 Black sagebrush

613 Fescue grassland
  • 147. Shiflet, Thomas N., ed. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management. 152 p. [23362]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [52]:

221 Red alder

232 Redwood

234 Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone

244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir

245 Pacific ponderosa pine

246 California black oak

248 Knobcone pine

249 Canyon live oak

250 Blue oak-foothills pine

255 California coast live oak
  • 52. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: shrub

KUCHLER [86] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K005 Mixed conifer forest

K006 Redwood forest

K009 Pine-cypress forest

K010 Ponderosa shrub forest

K012 Douglas-fir forest

K029 California mixed evergreen forest

K030 California oakwoods

K033 Chaparral

K035 Coastal sagebrush

K036 Mosaic of K030 and K035

K047 Fescue-oatgrass

K048 California steppe
  • 86. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [58]:

FRES20 Douglas-fir

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES27 Redwood

FRES28 Western hardwoods

FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub

FRES42 Annual grasslands
  • 58. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Moderately dry sites; to 1400m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Dispersal

Establishment

Adaptation: It grows in well-drained soils on bluffs, gentle slopes, and canyons, and can be found up to 1400 m in elevation. This species is adapted to relatively warm, wet winters and dry summers moderated by fog and cool temperatures, but does not occur where the ground freezes. Although tolerant of various soil types, live oak prefers a deep loam. Common associates include species of sumac, lemonade berry, and toyon. Coast live oak is particularly well adapted to fire. Branches may produce new shoots after having been lightly burned. Trunks exposed to moderate fires often resprout from the base. Like most oaks, it has an obligate relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, which provide critical moisture and nutrients

Propagation by seeds: Oak seeds do not store well and consequently seeds should be planted soon after maturity. Nuts are considered ripe when they separate freely from the acorn cap and fall from the tree. Care should be taken to collect local fruits, because they may be adapted to local environmental conditions. Viable nuts are green to brown and have unblemished walls. Nuts with discoloration or sticky exudates, and small holes caused by insect larvae, should be discarded.

Propagation of coast live oak is highly successful by direct seeding at the beginning of winter. Once a site is chosen, prepare holes that are 10 inches in diameter and 4 to 5 inches deep. One gram of a slow-release fertilizer should be placed in the bottom and covered by a small amount of soil. Place 6 to 10 acorns in each hole at a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Temporary enclosures should be used to minimize herbivory by rodents or birds. A simple enclosure can be constructed from a 1 quart plastic dairy container with the bottom removed and a metal screen attached. Near the end of the first season, seedlings should be thinned to 2 or 3 per hole and to 1 seedling by the second season. Supplemental watering may be necessary if a drought of 6 weeks or more occurs during the spring.

Container Planting: Seeds may be planted in one-gallon containers, using well-drained potting soil that includes slow-release fertilizer. Tapered plastic planting tubes, with a volume of 10 cubic inches, also may be used. Seeds should be planted 1 to 2 inches deep and the soil kept moist. Seedlings should be transplanted as soon as the first true leaves mature. Planting holes should be at least twice as wide and deep as the container. Seedlings may require watering every 2 to 3 weeks during the first season. Care should be taken to weed and mulch around young plants until they are 6 to 10 inches tall.

Public Domain

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden & USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: fuel, root crown, wildfire

The 1993 Topanga Fire, driven by November Santa Ana Winds, damaged hundreds of
coast live oaks in Los Angeles County. Recovery of 90 trees was evaluated
through postfire year 8. Thirty trees were randomly
selected from a valley riparian site, 30 from a ridgeline site, and 30 from an
open riparian area. All 3 sites were surrounded by mixed chaparral and annual
grassland. Immediate fire effects were [37]:

Valley riparian site: The site last burned in 1943. The riparian coast live
oak-California sycamore community had a closed canopy prior to the wildfire.
Eleven coast live oaks were burned down to trunks or scaffold branches; the
remaining 29 trees were scorched and lost all their leaves.
Ridge site: The ridgeline had a history of frequent fire. Prescribed burned
in 1988, the coast live oak woodland had experienced previous wildfires in 1970,
1942, and 1938. Prefire fuel loads were not as abundant as the other 2 sites.
Four mature trees and 1 sapling were top-killed by the fire. The remaining 25
study trees  received some scorch damage but retained some green leaves.
Open riparian site: This site last burned in 1943, from the same fire
affecting the valley riparian site. A heavy fuel load of dead and live chaparral
vegetation surrounded the site. Within the coast live oak community, the canopy
was closed and understory vegetation was sparse. Five trees were top-killed; the
remaining 25 trees were scorched but retained some green leaves.
Recovery: Overall recovery of coast live oak was
excellent, with 96% survivorship at postfire year 8. Among the 21 most
severely burned trees, only 4 trees died. Those 4 were all close to the fire
front. Surviving trees showed rapid growth in trunk diameter. Trees from all but
the valley riparian site, which had colder temperatures and less shade than the
other 2 sites due to steep canyon walls, recovered 80% of their prefire
canopy by postfire year 8. Few trees sprouted from the root crown; nearly all
postfire growth was initially from epicormic sprouts. At postfire year 8, growth
was mostly from terminal branches; epicormic growth was minimal and there were
no root crown sprouts. Size distribution and vigor of surviving coast live oaks
are shown below [37].

Number of trees in DBH1 class (cm)

Site<2525-5051-75 >7525-5051-7576-100101-125>125
1994
valley riparian2113112433
ridgeline6112003223
open riparian318221328
Total# trees1123133369714
2001
valley riparian375111244
ridgeline3112422322
open riparian233510149
Total# trees82110104361015

Vigor of trees in DBH2 class (cm)

Site<2525-5051-75 >7525-5051-7576-100101-125>125
1996
valley riparian3.52.53433333
ridgeline3.534043.5333
open riparian334332333.5
2001
valley riparian443.54.5533.53.54.5
ridgeline4.544.504.54444
open riparian34444034.54.5

1Some trees had multiple stems. Values are sums for all stems.

2Values based on a rating scale of 1-5, where 1= dead and 5=excellent

The Research Project Summary Response of vegetation to prescribed burning in a Jeffrey pine-California
black oak woodland and a deergrass meadow at Cuyamaca State Park, California
, provides information on prescribed
fire and postfire responses of many plant community species including coast live oak.
  • 37. Dagit, Rosi. 2002. Post-fire monitoring of coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) burned in the 1993 Old Topanga Fire. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 243-249. [42321]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: density, fire severity, fuel, moderate-severity fire, prescribed fire, root crown, severity, surface fire, top-kill, tree

Coast live oak sprouts from the bole, branches, and /or root crown after fire damage. Mature trees with live branches generally sprout from the branches. Trees with damaged branches sprout from the bole, which is better protected from fire by its thicker bark [37,130]. Seedlings and saplings are generally top-killed, and sprout from the root crown after fire [43,151]. Coast live oak recovers rapidly from moderate-severity fire. Severely burned crowns, trunks, and root crowns may require several years to sprout. If sprouting occurs within several postfire months, basal sprouts can be 2 to 3 feet (0.6-0.91 m) tall in 2 years, and crown density can be 80 to 100% of prefire levels within 10 years [88,130]. The most common fire damage to the trunk is a basal wound resulting in potential cambium death. Wounds less than a few inches in size may eventually heal with no accompanying heart rot, but larger wounds are susceptible to fungal and bacterial pathogens and insect infestation [138].

Light-severity surface fire has little effect on mature coast live oak. An October prescribed fire in northern San Luis Obispo-southern Monterey counties varied from light to moderate severity. The fire had no effect on postfire coast live oak canopy coverage, measured at postfire year 1. Six percent of the canopy was singed. No mature trees died, and the number of coast live oak snags was unchanged [151,158].

Saplings and seedlings generally recover quickly from light- to moderate-severity fire. For the fall prescribed fire in southern Monterey and northern San Luis Obispo counties, 22 percent of coast live oak saplings were killed. Survival was best for saplings with light fuel loads within 3.3 feet (1 m) of their stems. The remaining 78% of saplings were top-killed and had root crown sprouts by the next fall. Average number of sprouts was 6.4 (+1.2 SE) per sapling. Average length of the longest sprout was 24.1 inches (61.2 cm) (+4.1 inches (10 cm) SE) [151].

Recovery of coast live oak following severe fire on the San Bernardino National Forest showed patterns typical of the species. Mortality and top-kill rates were highest among the smallest size classes. Basal sprouting was common in smaller size classes and crown sprouting (or crown sprouting in addition to basal sprouting) was more common among larger size classes. Sprouting and mortality rates were observed after 5 years on 0.64-acre (0.25 ha) transects; rates are summarized below by size class [128]:

Tree diameter (inches) Number of charred trees Dead (%) Basal sprouts only (%) Basal and Crown sprouts (%) Crown sprouts only (%)
0-3 90 2 88 1 9
3-6 54 11 26 28 35
6-12 65 1 5 52 42
12-18 24 0 0 62 38
18+ 22 4 5 50 41

Coast live oak experiences severe fire in riparian habitats. After the high-severity Wheeler Fire near Ojai, California, coast live oak, white alder, and California sycamore all sprouted. Most burnt tree trunks remained after fire until storms the following winter, when some were uprooted. Six of 19 coast live oak boles blew down in winter. Sprouting rates were 7% for white alder, 83% for California sycamore, and 70% for coast live oak. Basal sprouting of coast live oak was positively correlated (p<0.001) with tree size [42].

Regeneration from acorns following fire is variable, depending on fire severity and site characteristics. Acorn survival is high in low- to moderate-severity fire, particularly when acorns have been cached by animals. Acorn survival in severe fire is low, and postfire seedling recruitment is slower. Following a severe fire in Ventura County, burned sites supported no coast live oak germinants the following spring, while adjacent unburned areas produced new seedlings [42]. Fire in an Engelmann oak/coast live oak stand in southern California had positive effects on coast live oak seedling establishment. In the 2 years preceding fire there was no establishment; in 5 postfire years 1,118 oak seedlings established, of which 1,025 were coast live oak. Establishment was greatest under the outer edges of canopies, particularly for coast live oak [89].

  • 37. Dagit, Rosi. 2002. Post-fire monitoring of coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) burned in the 1993 Old Topanga Fire. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 243-249. [42321]
  • 42. Davis, Frank W.; Keller, Edward A.; Parikh, Anuja; Florsheim, Joan. 1989. Recovery of the chaparral riparian zone after wildfire. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California riparian systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 194-203. [13883]
  • 43. DeLasaux, Michael J.; Pillsbury, Norman H. 1987. Site index and yield equations for blue oak and coast live oak. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 325-334. [5383]
  • 88. Lathrop, Earl W.; Martin, Bradford D. 1982. Response of understory vegetation to prescribed burning in yellow pine forests of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, California. Aliso. 10(2): 329-343. [15943]
  • 89. Lawson, Dawn M.; Zedler, Paul H.; Seiger, Leslie A. 1997. Mortality and growth rates of seedlings and saplings of Quercus agrifolia and Quercus engelmannii: 1990-1995. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 642-645. [29046]
  • 128. Plumb, Tim R. 1980. Response of oaks to fire. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management, and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 202-215. [7039]
  • 130. Plumb, Timothy R.; McDonald, Philip M. 1981. Oak management in California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-54. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [6568]
  • 138. Rundel, Philip W. 1986. Structure and function in California chaparral. Fremontia. 14(3): 3-10. [18650]
  • 151. Tietje, William D.; Vreeland, Justin K.; Weitkamp, William H. 2001. Live oak saplings survive prescribed fire and sprout. California Agriculture. 55(2): 18-22. [40986]
  • 158. Vreeland, Justin K.; Tietje, William D. 2002. Numerical response of small vertebrates to prescribed fire in a California oak woodland. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 269-279. [42325]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the terms: crown fire, moderate-severity fire, shrub, top-kill, tree

Coast live oak seedlings and saplings less than 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter may be top-killed by low- to moderate-severity fire, and severe fire kills trees of this size [46,122,128,129,151]. Because of vascular cambium protection, mature trees have high fire survival rates, even with crown fire. Heavily charred bark has a checkered appearance and frequently exfoliates, but damage typically extends only 0.5 to 0.8 inch (1.3-1.9 cm) into the bark. If cambium death occurs in large trees it is typically in small scars at the base [129]. Trees greater than 6 to 8 inches (15.2 to 20.3 cm) in diameter resist top-kill [122,129]. Saplings 2 to 6 inches (5.1-152 cm) in diameter are top-killed by severe fire. An "extremely hot" crown fire on the San Bernardino National Forest caused only 4% coast live oak mortality. Ninety percent of the oaks less than 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter were top-killed, and 2% were killed. Of trees greater than 6 inches (15.2 cm) in diameter, the trunks and crowns of all but 5% survived the fire without top-kill (the 5% includes 3% that were top-killed and 2% killed) [128].

For small-diameter trees, mortality as a result of low- to moderate-severity fire depends on tree height and location with respect to other tree crowns. Fire mortality of Engelmann oak and coast live oak (in a woodland with herbaceous and coastal sage scrub species in the understory) was studied for trees less than 3.9 inches (10 cm) in diameter: of 1,214 small trees surveyed, 531 survived 5 years after fire. Mortality was similar for each species: 56% for coast live oak and 59% for Engelmann oak. Mortality was 50% among trees 11.8 to 15.7 inches (30-40 cm) tall, 30% among those 29.3 to 78.7 inches (1-2 m) tall, and 10% among trees taller than 78.7 inches (2 m). In gaps between tree canopies mortality was significantly lower (p<0.0001). Coast live oak mortality was 40% in gaps and 59% under canopies [89] .Generally mortality of coast live oak is greater when there is a considerable shrub understory or when trees are adjacent to chaparral. Coast live oak in the Santa Monica Mountains was killed in large numbers when a hot chaparral fire burned into the oak woodland [141].

  • 122. Paysen, Timothy E.; Derby, Jeanine A.; Black, Hugh, Jr.; Bleich, Vernon C.; Mincks, John W. 1980. A vegetation classification system applied to southern California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-45. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 33 p. [1849]
  • 46. Dougherty, Ron; Riggan, Philip J. 1982. Operational use of prescribed fire in southern California chaparral. In: Conrad, C. Eugene; Oechel, Walter C., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on dynamics and management of Mediterranean-type ecosystems; 1981 June 22-26; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-58. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 502-510. [6055]
  • 89. Lawson, Dawn M.; Zedler, Paul H.; Seiger, Leslie A. 1997. Mortality and growth rates of seedlings and saplings of Quercus agrifolia and Quercus engelmannii: 1990-1995. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 642-645. [29046]
  • 128. Plumb, Tim R. 1980. Response of oaks to fire. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management, and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 202-215. [7039]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]
  • 141. Sauer, Jonathan D. 1977. Fire history, environmental patterns, and species patterns in Santa Monica mountain chaparral. In: Mooney, Harold A.; Conrad, C. Eugene, technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium of the environmental consequences of fire and fuel management in Mediterranean ecosystems; 1977 August 1-5; Palo Alto, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 383-386. [4866]
  • 151. Tietje, William D.; Vreeland, Justin K.; Weitkamp, William H. 2001. Live oak saplings survive prescribed fire and sprout. California Agriculture. 55(2): 18-22. [40986]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: cover, density, fire exclusion, fire frequency, fire interval, fire regime, frequency, litter, low-severity fire, mean fire interval, moderate-severity fire, root crown, severity, shrub, shrubs, top-kill, tree

Fire adaptations: Coast live oak is exceptionally fire resistant, more so than other California oak species. Adaptations to fire include evergreen leaves, thick bark, and sprouting ability. Evergreen leaves allow coast live oak to allocate greater amounts of energy to recovery from fire than to replacing the entire crown annually. Evergreens are often better able to conserve nutrients than deciduous species, and are favored in fire-prone environments [102]. Coast live oak bark is the thickest among California oaks; it is mainly composed of live inner bark with little dead outer tissue [128,129,130]. Oaks are more likely to be damaged by fall fire than earlier fires [129]. Because of mortality among small-diameter trees, frequent fire limits coast live oak invasion of grasslands [104].

Coast live oaks sprout from the main trunk and upper crown even after severe burning [37,130]. When trees are top-killed, they sprout from the root crown [43]. Vigorous sprouting is supported by food reserves stored in the extensive root system [35]. Sprouting from the root crown often occurs during the first 2 months after top-kill, but some charred trees do not sprout for 2 to 3 years [122,129]. Scorched trees retaining live vascular cambial tissue sprout from the bole and from scaffold and smaller surviving branches. A few scorched trees may produce root crown as well as epicormic sprouts [37]. Prefire crown volume is generally recovered, or nearly so, in about 8 to 10 postfire years [37,129].

Roots are protected from fire by an outer corky layer and soil. Coast live oak roots generally suffer little direct heat damage except to feeder roots near the soil surface [128]. Acorns on the soil surface are killed by low-severity fire, while animal-buried acorns usually survive moderate-severity fire, sometimes allowing high rates of postfire establishment [42,89]. Severe fire may kill even buried acorns, and complete removal of shrubs by fire may reduce coast live oak seedling survival [28,42,118]. By caching acorns in burned areas burned areas, which are preferred caching sites, scrub jays may facilitate postfire establishment of coast live oak seedlings [115]. 

Fire regimes: Fire frequency largely defines the extent of coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodland; in these habitats decreasing fire frequency tends to favor the development of coast live oak. Conversely, where coast live oak occurs in mixed evergreen forests (or where coast Douglas-fir is invading oak woodlands), frequent fire favors coast live oak and other seral species. One study of vegetation dynamics in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and oak woodland near Santa Barbara found that without fire or livestock grazing, coastal sage scrub was replaced by coast live oak woodland at a rate of 0.3% annually. Grassland to coastal sage scrub transition occurred at a rate of 0.69% per year, and oak woodland reverted to grassland at a rate of 0.08% per year. On burned areas without livestock grazing or on unburned sites with livestock grazing, rates of transition of grassland to coastal scrub and coastal scrub to oak woodland were lower and the rate of oak woodland reversion to grassland was higher [29].

Oak woodlands: Analysis of oak pollen (primarily that of coast live oak) records showed that oak woodlands remained stable for up to 4 centuries before major European-American settlement (approximately 1470 to 1870). Coinciding with a decrease in fire frequency between 1870 and 1985, percent oak pollen increased to its highest level in 560 years. The 2-fold increase in oak pollen reflected both increase in oak density and in area occupied [104]. Coast live oak woodlands may experience an increase in shrub cover in the absence of frequent fire or heavy grazing, but there are also reports of oak savannas and adjacent grasslands that, without fire for 50 years, have not had a noticeable increase in shrub cover. Sites without shrub increase are generally south facing and/or on shallow soils [66]. Generally, grass is present in open stands, while closed stands have up to 5 inches (12.7 cm) of oak litter [129]. 

Riparian forests: Coast live oak associates in riparian areas include white alder, California sycamore, and Fremont cottonwood, all of which are sprout after fire. Severe fire was apparently historically rare in these habitats. Currently most fire is accidental and of high severity, causing relatively high rates of top-kill and basal sprouting of coast lie oak and associated tree species [10,42].

Mixed evergreen forests: Where coast live oak occurs in mixed evergreen forests of coast Douglas-fir, tanoak, and Pacific madrone, historic fire return intervals were less than 35 years, with fires generally occurring between late August and November after termination of radial growth [5,24]. In many of these stands fire ceased in the early to mid-1900s, and there has been a concomitant increase in coast Douglas-fir density. Bowcutt [19] states that coast Douglas-fir increase in coast live oak woodlands may indicate that such stands, when coast Douglas-fir was not present, represented "a disclimax created by native people through burning." A study of fire frequency and coast Douglas-fir establishment on Point Reyes Peninsula, where coast live oak occurs with California bay, showed coast Douglas-fir establishment greatly accelerated with cessation of fire in the early 1900s. Fire history of 2 such sites is provided below; only 1 fire scar was observed after 1945 [24]: 

  Period analyzed Number of intervals Mean fire interval (years, with standard deviations) Range of intervals (years) Weibull mean (50% exceedance) probability interval (years) 5% to 95% probability interval (years)
Site 1 1820 to 1905 11 7.7 (5.0) 1 to 17 6.9 1.3 to 17.6
Site 2 1825 to 1918 11 8.5 (5.3) 3 to 18 7.8 2.1 to 16.0

Chaparral and coastal sage scrub: Prior to settlement, chaparral communities in which coast live oak grows in a shrubby, shorter form had mean fire intervals of 10 to 30 years [121]. With land use conversion and urbanization, fire frequency has decreased. In the Santa Monica Mountains, chaparral sites dominated by California sagebrush, California brittlebrush (Encelia californica), coastal buckwheat (Eriogonum cinereum), purple sage, and black sage (Salvia mellifera) (with 11 to 19% cover of coast live oak) had fires in 1903, 1945 and 1978. A similar site with 5.2% coast live oak cover had fire in 1903 and 1978 [93]. In most chaparral and coastal scrub areas, FIRE REGIMES are entirely anthropogenic, and with urbanization, steep slopes, containment difficultly, and erosion potential, fire's current use is limited [42,68]. The absence of fire, particularly in coastal sage scrub, has allowed coast live oak to increase in density and area. On sites in the Monterey Bay area with fire exclusion for over 70 years, coast live oak has increased significantly (p<0.001) from 2 to 5.5% between 1976 and 2000. Where coast live oak has developed, understory density and diversity have declined dramatically [155].

Fire intervals: Greenlee and Langenheim [63] described FIRE REGIMES of different coast live oak associated communities in the Monterrey Bay area between aboriginal time and present. Their results, presented below, show the remarkable decline in fire frequency in the recent era (1929 was chosen to demarcate the recent fire regime because of restrictions that were put in place against burning). "Probable mean fire interval" refers to estimates of fire intervals that are derived from historical or very limited physical evidence.

Fire regime Vegetation where burning concentrated Vegetation where burning incidental Recorded or calculated mean fire intervals (years) Probable mean fire intervals (years)
Lightning   Prairies   1-15
  Coastal sage   1-15
  Chaparral   10-30
  Oak woodland   10-30
Mixed evergreen     15-30
Redwood forest   135  
Aboriginal (until approximately 1792) Prairies   1-2  
Coastal sage   1-2  
  Chaparral 18-21  
Oak woodland   1-2  
  Mixed evergreen   50-75
  Redwood forest 17-82  
Spanish (1792 to 1848)   Prairies   1-15
  Coastal sage   1-15
Chaparral   19-21  
  Oak woodland   2-30
  Mixed evergreen   50-75
  Redwood forest 82  
European-American (1847 to 1929)   Prairies   20-30
  Coastal sage   20-30
  Chaparral 10-27  
  Oak woodland 50-75  
Mixed evergreen   7-29  
Redwood forest   20-50  
Recent (1929 to present)   Prairies   20-30
  Coastal sage 155  
  Chaparral 155  
  Oak woodland 225  
  Mixed evergreen 215  
  Redwood forest 130  

FIRE REGIMES for plant communities and ecosystems in which coast live oak occurs are presented below. More information regarding FIRE REGIMES and fire ecology of these communities can be found in the 'Fire Ecology and Adaptations' section of the FEIS species summary for the plant community or ecosystem dominants below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
California chaparral Adenostoma and/or Arctostaphylos spp.
coastal sagebrush Artemisia californica
California steppe Festuca-Danthonia spp. 121]
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [159]
coastal Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii 40-240 [5,110,135]
California mixed evergreen P. m. var. m.-Lithocarpus densiflorus-Arbutus menziesii
California oakwoods Quercus spp.
coast live oak Q. agrifolia 2-75 [63]
canyon live oak Q. chrysolepis
blue oak-foothills pine Q. douglasii-Pinus sabiniana
Oregon white oak Q. garryana 5]
California black oak Q. kelloggii 5-30 [121
interior live oak Q. wislizenii 5]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species summary
  • 135. Ripple, William J. 1994. Historic spatial patterns of old forests in western Oregon. Journal of Forestry. 92(11): 45-49. [33881]
  • 5. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
  • 121. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Haase, Sally M.; Harrington, Michael G.; Narog, Marcia G.; Sackett, Stephen S.; Wilson, Ruth C. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]
  • 122. Paysen, Timothy E.; Derby, Jeanine A.; Black, Hugh, Jr.; Bleich, Vernon C.; Mincks, John W. 1980. A vegetation classification system applied to southern California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-45. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 33 p. [1849]
  • 19. Bowcutt, Frederica S. 1999. A floristic study of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Sonoma County, California. Aliso. 18(1): 19-34. [40636]
  • 24. Brown, Peter M.; Kaye, Margot W.; Buckley, Dan. 1999. Fire history in Douglas-fir and coast redwood forests at Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Northwest Science. 73(3): 204-216. [31300]
  • 28. Callaway, Ragan M.; D'Antonio, Carla M. 1991. Shrub facilitation of coast live oak establishment in central California. Madrono. 38(3): 158-169. [17102]
  • 29. Callaway, Ragan M.; Davis, Frank W. 1993. Vegetation dynamics, fire, and the physical environment in coastal central California. Ecology. 74(5): 1567-1578. [21675]
  • 35. Cooper, William Skinner. 1922. The broad-sclerophyll vegetation of California: An ecological study of the chaparral and its related communities. Publ. No. 319. Washington, DC: The Carnegie Institution of Washington. 145 p. [6716]
  • 37. Dagit, Rosi. 2002. Post-fire monitoring of coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) burned in the 1993 Old Topanga Fire. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 243-249. [42321]
  • 42. Davis, Frank W.; Keller, Edward A.; Parikh, Anuja; Florsheim, Joan. 1989. Recovery of the chaparral riparian zone after wildfire. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California riparian systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 194-203. [13883]
  • 43. DeLasaux, Michael J.; Pillsbury, Norman H. 1987. Site index and yield equations for blue oak and coast live oak. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 325-334. [5383]
  • 66. Griffin, James R. 1977. Oak woodland. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Malor, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 383-415. [7217]
  • 68. Hanes, Ted L. 1971. Succession after fire in the chaparral of southern California. Ecological Monographs. 41(1): 27-52. [11405]
  • 89. Lawson, Dawn M.; Zedler, Paul H.; Seiger, Leslie A. 1997. Mortality and growth rates of seedlings and saplings of Quercus agrifolia and Quercus engelmannii: 1990-1995. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 642-645. [29046]
  • 93. Malanson, George P.; O'Leary, John F. 1985. Effects of fire and habitat on post-fire regeneration in Mediterranean-type ecosystems: Ceanothus spinosus chaparral and Californian coastal sage scrub. Acta Oecologica. 6(20): 169-181. [6180]
  • 102. McDonald, Philip M. 1981. Adaptations of woody shrubs. In: Hobbs, S. D.; Helgerson, O. T., eds. Reforestation of skeletal soils: Proceedings of a workshop; 1981 November 17-19; Medford, OR. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University, Forest Research Laboratory: 21-29. [4979]
  • 104. Mensing, Scott A. 1998. 560 years of vegetation change in the region of Santa Barbara, California. Madrono. 45(1): 1-11. [30134]
  • 110. Morrison, Peter H.; Swanson, Frederick J. 1990. Fire history and pattern in a Cascade Range landscape. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-254. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 77 p. [13074]
  • 115. Odion, Dennis C.; Bornstein, Carol J.; Carroll, Mary C. 1988. Revegetation in the Santa Barbara region: enduring dilemmas and potential solutions. In: Rieger, John P.; Williams, Bradford K., eds. Proceedings of the second native plant revegetation symposium; 1987 April 15-18; San Diego, CA. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society of Ecological Restoration and Management: 76-91. [4099]
  • 118. Parikh, Anuja; Gale, Nathan. 1998. Coast live oak revegetation on the central coast of California. Madrono. 45(4): 301-309. [30607]
  • 128. Plumb, Tim R. 1980. Response of oaks to fire. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management, and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 202-215. [7039]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]
  • 130. Plumb, Timothy R.; McDonald, Philip M. 1981. Oak management in California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-54. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [6568]
  • 155. Van Dyke, Eric; Holl, Karen D.; Griffin, James R. 2001. Maritime chaparral community transition in the absence of fire. Madrono. 48(4): 221-229. [41368]
  • 159. Wade, Dale D.; Brock, Brent L.; Brose, Patrick H.; Grace, James B.; Hoch, Greg A.; Patterson, William A., III. 2000. Fire in eastern ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 53-96. [36983]
  • 63. Greenlee, Jason M.; Langenheim, Jean H. 1990. Historic FIRE REGIMES and their relation to vegetation patterns in the Monterey Bay area of California. The American Midland Naturalist. 124(2): 239-253. [15144]
  • 10. Barro, Sue. 1989. [Email to Bill Fischer]. April 29. Riparian vegetation after fire - a case study. Riverside, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Fire Laboratory. On file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. [6815]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, density, fire frequency, frequency, phase, sere, shrub, succession, xeric

Ecologists refer to changes in the grassland, chaparral, and oak woodland mosaic of California as "non-directional fluctuations" rather than succession [12]. Coast live oak may be considered seral or climax depending on habitat, but it is tolerant of shade throughout its life [129]. Where their ranges overlap, deciduous trees such as blue oak and California black oak are seral to coast live oak [13]. However, because deer and cattle prefer coast live oak, it is gradually replaced by California bay in some areas of coastal northern California where the 2 species codominate [99]. In mixed evergreen forest that is burned or logged, a coast live oak phase is seral to the climax evergreen deciduous and conifer forest. However, on steep slopes or poor sites within this habitat type, coast live oak represents a topographic or edaphic climax [7]. Succession on coastal dunes at Asilomar State Park on the Monterey Peninsula includes an early stage of beach wormwood (Artemisia pycnocephala) and/or California heathgoldenrod on slopes; the next sere includes dense shrub (coyote bush, seaside woollysunflower (Eriophyllum stoechadifolium), California coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica), poison-oak, and Pacific dewberry (Rubus vitifolius)) development with coast live oak and/or gray pine in the overstory. If fire frequency and deer numbers are low, coast live oak replaces gray pine [9]. In the San Francisco Bay area light browsing allows coyote bush to invade grasslands, and coyote bush subsequently facilitates coast live oak woodland development [139]. In the absence of disturbance, coyote bush brushland almost always gives way to coast live oak and California bay, as coyote bush seedlings do not develop beneath their own canopies [161].

Recruitment of most oaks in California has declined, with some species not regenerating rapidly enough to maintain current density. There is much debate about the causes of change and size of decline, but it appears that recruitment patterns are dependent on both species and locality  [11]. Overall coast live oak and interior live oak are recruiting at higher rates than the deciduous oaks of the region; this may be because of pocket gophers' preference for the roots of deciduous oaks over those of live oaks [66]. Generally, coast live oak woodlands with shrub understories have stable population structures, and more xeric woodlands with herbaceous understories are likely to be recruitment limited [30].

  • 7. Barbour, Michael G. 1987. Community ecology and distribution of California hardwood forests and woodlands. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 18-25. [5356]
  • 9. Barbour, Michael G.; Johnson, Ann F. 1977. Beach and dune. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 223-261. [27610]
  • 11. Bartolome, James W. 1987. California annual grassland and oak savannah. Rangelands. 9(3): 122-125. [2861]
  • 12. Bartolome, James W. 1989. Local temporal and spatial structure. In: Huenneke, L. F.; Mooney, H., eds. Grassland structure and function: California annual grassland. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers: 73-80. [28348]
  • 13. Bartolome, James W.; Muick, Pamela C.; McClaran, Mitchel P. 1987. Natural regeneration of Californian hardwoods. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 26-31. [5357]
  • 30. Callaway, Ragan M.; Davis, Frank W. 1998. Recruitment of Quercus agrifolia in central California: the importance of shrub-dominated patches. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 647-656. [41369]
  • 66. Griffin, James R. 1977. Oak woodland. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Malor, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 383-415. [7217]
  • 99. McBride, Joe R. 1974. Plant succession in the Berkeley Hills, California. Madrono. 22(7): 317-380. [18874]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]
  • 139. Safford, Hugh Deforest. 1995. Woody vegetation and succession in the Garin Woods, Hayward Hills, Alameda County, California. Madrono. 42(4): 470-489. [40868]
  • 161. Williams, K.; Hobbs, R. J. 1989. Control of shrub establishment by springtime soil water availability in an annual grassland. Oecologia. 81(1): 62-66. [39461]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: association, cover, monoecious, natural, root crown, shrub, shrubs, tree

Breeding system: Oaks (Quercus spp.) are monoecious with staminate flowers in naked aments and solitary or clustered pistillate flowers [145]. Genetic studies using biochemical and molecular markers show that coast live oak is the least diverse of all California oaks in the subgenus Erythrobalanus. This suggests that coast live oak populations are highly outcrossing, and most genetic diversity is among, rather than within, populations [44].

Pollination: Coast live oaks are wind pollinated [32,44].

Seed production: Coast live oak is the only black oak in California whose acorns develop in 1 year [21,129]. Acorns are 1.0 to 1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm) long and 0.4 to 0.6 inch (1.0-1.5 cm) wide [70,129]. Coast live oak × California black oak hybrids' acorns mature in 2 years [114]. Information on the age of sexual maturity and age of maximum production of acorns is lacking [32]. 

Acorn production is variable within and among years, but coast live oak is productive relative to other California oak species. Acorn production over a 5-year period was observed for canyon live oak, coast live oak, valley oak, blue oak, and California black oak. Canyon live oak was most productive, and coast live oak was 2nd most productive [32]. Crop failure is frequent, and large crops may occur in consecutive years but no more frequently than expected by chance. In low acorn years, acorns can be absent on up to 90% of trees: this occurred in valley oak, coast live oak, blue oak stands observed in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and San Benito counties [57]. 

Though crop size is variable, it is often synchronized across oak populations and species. Synchronization is more common among California oak species whose acorns mature in the same year, but it also can occur among species with different acorn maturation times [32,81,83]. Synchronization may be detectable on areas as large as 190 to 390 square miles (500-1000 km2) [81]. Observation of acorn production cycles among canyon live oak, coast live oak, valley oak, blue oak, and California black oak in the Santa Lucia Mountains of central California found no species-specific patterns in acorn production. The 5 oaks were observed over 12 years; at only 2 of 60 date/year combinations (3.3% of sample dates) was there no acorn production from any species. Coast live oak, however, had crop failures (acorns per tree averaging less than 1) 50% of the time [84].

Several nonmutually exclusive hypotheses seek to explain the variability and synchronicity of California oak acorn crop sizes. This may be an adaptation to seed predation as high acorn production years have incomplete seed consumption and allow leftover seed to establish [84]. Synchronicity over large geographic areas may also be because the areas experience similar environmental conditions [83]. One study found that acorn crops for coast live oak and canyon live oak were larger when the previous 1 and 2 years had more rain [82]. Another 5-year study found no correlation between crop size and 14 weather variables [32].

Seed dispersal: Coast live oak retains its acorns longer than other California oaks. Most of its acorns are dropped in fall, but some remain attached to trees until spring. This adaptation reduces seed loss to birds and small mammals such as squirrels, magpies, and scrub jays; in small crop years 100% of the crop may be consumed [32,115]. Though seed predation may be high, it also provides a means of seed dispersal. Seed-caching animals such as the scrub jay and California ground squirrel are important to species survival, as acorns buried by these animals are more likely to develop into seedlings than acorns that have not been cached [28,32]. Scrub jays cache about 5,000 acorns each year over an average home range of about 6.2 acres (2.5 ha), effectively seedling at a rate of 800 acorns per acre (2,000 per ha). Though 95% of cached acorns are found and eaten, remaining acorns have high germination and survival rates because they are typically cached about 0.4 inch (1 cm) below the soil surface [100]. Scrub jays prefer burned sites for acorn caching [115].

Acorn-feeding insects damage coast live oak seed.  Weevil and moth larvae on the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve preferred coast live oak acorns to those of Engelmann oak, and researchers concluded that coast live oak acorns provided a more nutritious diet. Although damage inflicted to individual acorns appeared slight, the ability of insect-damaged acorns to germinate and establish is poorly understood. Further studies are required to determine the impact of insect damage to coast live oak establishment [52].

Seed banking: Little information is available regarding coast live oak seed banks, but, because coast live oak acorns have no dormancy requirement, it is reasonable to assume that seed banks are small.

Germination: Coast live oak acorns have no dormancy requirement and germinate 15 to 50 days after falling [25,64,108]. Germination is slower than other California oaks; this limits coast live oak establishment on dry sites [95]. Griffin [64] found 100% viability of acorns collected in the Carmel Valley, while Mirov and Kraebel [108] reported 73% germination of acorns collected in Berkeley. Fifty percent germination after 18 days of 55 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (13-20 °C) controlled climate without stratification has also been reported [96]. Acorns with low moisture content show higher rates of germination and produce taller seedlings than do acorns with high moisture content, but unviable seed is not a serious problem for this species [75,115].

Seedling establishment/growth: Seedling top-growth is slow under natural conditions, with early development concentrated on rapid, early root growth [96]. Lateral root growth of 9.8 inches (25 cm) in 6 months has been observed under moist controlled conditions [27]. In the field, coast live oak taproot elongation of approximately 28 inches (70 cm) in 2 months has been noted [39]. Under ideal nursery conditions, coast live oak seedlings have attained heights of 5 to 8 feet (15.2-24.4 m) in 2 years [144].

Acorn predation strongly limits establishment in small crop years, but seedling survival rates are also low [115]. At sites in the Central and South Coast ranges, current sapling-to-tree ratios are 1:3 or lower [112]. Common causes of mortality include herbivory and livestock trampling and inadequate moisture [32,115,123]. Mortality results from aboveground or root herbivory by domestic livestock, black-tailed deer, pocket gophers, grasshoppers, cutworms, and feral pigs [32,48,64,123,149,153]. 

Coast live oak appears to be more susceptible to browsing damage than other California oaks while in the seedling stage, but shows better ability to sprout after herbivory damage incurred in the sapling stage [64,111,127]. Coast live oak seedlings are particularly vulnerable to browsing damage because some insect and mammalian browsers prefer coast live oak seedlings over seedlings of associated oaks [48].

Coast live oak is more susceptible to drought than other California oaks. In experimental soils wherein subsurface moisture was controlled and dried while leaving a moist surface horizon, coast live oak did not increase lateral root production when the vertical root tip died in dry soil. In contrast, blue oak and valley oak both responded to the treatment with increased lateral growth; these morphological differences are consistent with the species' different ranges [27]. 

Because of drought and herbivory's deleterious effects on seedling survival, recruitment is best among germinants growing in shade, where herbivory protection and water availability are higher [157]. Recruitment among rock outcrops is relatively common as this offers some protection from large browsers [66]. Common nurse plants are California heathgoldenrod (Ericameria ericoides), chamise, coyote bush (Baccharis pilularis), purple sage (Salvia leucophylla), orange bush monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus ssp. aurantiacus), chamisso bush lupine (Lupinus chamissonis), California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and poison-oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) [28,118]. Eighty percent of seedlings found on sites in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County were growing under purple sage or California sagebrush. Another 15% grew under mature coast live oak. Mortality due to herbivory was considerably higher among seedlings under parent trees [28]. Establishment is generally greater in coastal sage scrub than in other types of chaparral [30]. A study of coast live oak seedling establishment, with and without nurse shrubs and cages for protection, found that acorns planted in the open had higher germination but lower 1-year survival. Between 1 and 2 years of age, nurse shrubs had no effect on seedling survival, but cages continued to have a positive effect by reducing black-tailed deer browsing [118]. Another study of coast live oak establishment at 2 sites in central California showed strong association of seedlings with shrubs. Shrub cover was 30%,  but 80% of coast live oak seedlings were under canopies. In 2 years of monitored growth, survivorship was 0% in open areas and 31% under shrubs. Seedlings in the open were grazed more, but drought also increased stress. Mortality related to moisture and temperature stress was 17% under shrubs and 63% in the open. The authors noted that differential dispersal might also increase recruitment under shrubs [28]. 

Asexual regeneration: Coast live oak sprouts from the root crown and/or trunk following cutting or burning [37,43,126,128,130].

  • 114. Munz, Philip A.; Keck, David D. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 52. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]
  • 21. Brophy, William. 1973. Evolution and ecology in Quercus: a study of hybridization and introgression between Quercus agrifolia Nee. and Q. wislizenii A. DC. Hayward, CA:. California State University. 97 p. Thesis. [6858]
  • 25. Burcham, L. T. 1974. Fire and chaparral before European settlement. In: Rosenthal, Murray, ed. Symposium on living with the chaparral: Proceedings; 1973 March 30-31; Riverside, CA. San Francisco, CA: The Sierra Club: 101-120. [4669]
  • 27. Callaway, Ragan M. 1990. Effects of soil water distribution on the lateral root development of three species of California oaks. American Journal of Botany. 77(11): 1469-1475. [13784]
  • 28. Callaway, Ragan M.; D'Antonio, Carla M. 1991. Shrub facilitation of coast live oak establishment in central California. Madrono. 38(3): 158-169. [17102]
  • 30. Callaway, Ragan M.; Davis, Frank W. 1998. Recruitment of Quercus agrifolia in central California: the importance of shrub-dominated patches. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 647-656. [41369]
  • 32. Carmen, William J.; Koenig, Walter D.; Mumme, Ronald L. 1987. Acorn production by five species of oaks over a seven year period at the Hastings Reservation, Carmel Valley, California. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 429-434. [5390]
  • 37. Dagit, Rosi. 2002. Post-fire monitoring of coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) burned in the 1993 Old Topanga Fire. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 243-249. [42321]
  • 39. Danner, Brett T.; Knapp, Alan K. 2001. Growth dynamics of oak seedlings (Quercus macrocarpa Michx. and Quercus muhlenbergii Engelm.) from gallery forests: implications for forest expansion into grasslands. Trees. 15(5): 271-277. [39418]
  • 43. DeLasaux, Michael J.; Pillsbury, Norman H. 1987. Site index and yield equations for blue oak and coast live oak. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 325-334. [5383]
  • 44. Dodd, Richard S.; Kashani, Nasser; Afzal-Rafii, Zara. 2002. Population diversity and evidence of introgression among the black oaks of California. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 775-785. [42373]
  • 48. Dunning, Connell E.; Paine, Timothy D.; Redak, Richard A. 2002. Insect-oak interactions with coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) and Englemann oak (Quercus engelmannii) at the acorn and seedling stage. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 205-218. [42318]
  • 57. Garcia, Sergio L.; Jensen, Wayne A.; Weitkamp, William H.; Tietje, William D. 1991. Acorn yield during 1988 and 1989 on California's central coast. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 161-163. [19058]
  • 64. Griffin, James R. 1971. Oak regeneration in the upper Carmel Valley, California. Ecology. 52(5): 862-868. [9677]
  • 66. Griffin, James R. 1977. Oak woodland. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Malor, Jack, eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 383-415. [7217]
  • 70. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 75. Hunter, Serena C.; Van Doren, Robert. 1982. Variation in acorn and seedling characteristics of two California oaks. In: Conrad, C. Eugene; Oechel, Walter C., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on dynamics and management of Mediterranean-type ecosystems; 1981 June 22-26; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-58. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 606. [6074]
  • 81. Koenig, Walter D.; Knops, Johannes M. H. 1997. Patterns of geographic synchrony in growth and reproduction of oaks within California and beyond. In: Pillsbury, Norman H.; Verner, Jared; Tietje, William D., technical coordinators. Proceedings of a symposium on oak woodlands: ecology, management, and urban interface issues; 1996 March 19-22; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-160. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 101-108. [29002]
  • 83. Koenig, Walter D.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Carmen, William J.; Stanback, Mark T. 1999. Spatial dynamics in the absence of dispersal: acorn production by oaks in central coastal California. Ecography. 22(5): 499-506. [40858]
  • 84. Koenig, Walter D.; Mumme, Ronald L.; Carmen, William J.; Stanback, Mark T. 1994. Acorn production by oaks in central coastal California: variation within and among years. Ecology. 75(1): 99-109. [22738]
  • 95. Matsuda, Kozue; McBride, Joe R. 1986. Difference in seedling growth morphology as a factor in the distribution of three oaks in central California. Madrono. 33(3): 207-216. [40854]
  • 96. Matsuda, Kozue; McBride, Joe R. 1989. Germination characteristics of selected California oak species. The American Midland Naturalist. 122: 66-76. [8052]
  • 100. McBride, Joe R.; Norberg, Ed; Cheng, Sheauchi; Mossadegh, Ahmad. 1991. Seedling establishment of coast live oak in relation to seed caching by jays. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 143-148. [19055]
  • 108. Mirov, N. T.; Kraebel, C. J. 1937. Collecting and propagating the seeds of California wild plants. Res. Note No. 18. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, California Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p. [9787]
  • 111. Muick, Pamela C. 1991. Effects of shade on blue oak and coast live oak regeneration in California annual grasslands. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 21-24. [17382]
  • 112. Muick, Pamela C.; Bartolome, James W. 1987. Factors associated with oak regeneration in California. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 86-91. [5370]
  • 115. Odion, Dennis C.; Bornstein, Carol J.; Carroll, Mary C. 1988. Revegetation in the Santa Barbara region: enduring dilemmas and potential solutions. In: Rieger, John P.; Williams, Bradford K., eds. Proceedings of the second native plant revegetation symposium; 1987 April 15-18; San Diego, CA. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society of Ecological Restoration and Management: 76-91. [4099]
  • 118. Parikh, Anuja; Gale, Nathan. 1998. Coast live oak revegetation on the central coast of California. Madrono. 45(4): 301-309. [30607]
  • 123. Peart, Diann; McIntire, Elliot. 1990. Influence of feral pigs on oak woodland, hydrology examined through exclosure studies on Santa Cruz Island. Restoration & Management Notes. 8(1): 53. [13779]
  • 126. Pillsbury, Norman H.; Bonner, Lawrence E.; Thompson, Richard P. 2002. Coast live oak long-term thinning study -- twelve-year results. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 681-692. [42357]
  • 127. Pillsbury, Norman H.; Joseph, John P. 1991. Coast live oak thinning study in the central coast of California--fifth-year results. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 320-332. [42809]
  • 128. Plumb, Tim R. 1980. Response of oaks to fire. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management, and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 202-215. [7039]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]
  • 130. Plumb, Timothy R.; McDonald, Philip M. 1981. Oak management in California. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-54. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [6568]
  • 144. Schettler, Suzanne; Smith, Michael N. 1980. Nursery propagation of California oaks. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 143-148. [7027]
  • 145. Schopmeyer, C. S., tech. coord. 1974. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 883 p. [2088]
  • 149. Sweitzer, Rick A.; Van Vuren, Dirk H. 2002. Rooting and foraging effects of wild pigs on tree regeneration and acorn survival in California's oak woodland ecosystems. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 219-231. [42319]
  • 153. Tyler, Claudia M.; Mahall, Bruce E.; Davis, Frank W.; Hall, Michael. 2002. Factors limiting recruitment in valley and coast live oak. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 565-572. [42347]
  • 157. Vila, M.; Sardans, J. 1999. Plant competition in Mediterranean-type vegetation. Journal of Vegetation Science. 10: 281-294. [40783]
  • 82. Koenig, Walter D.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Carmen, William J.; [and others]. 1996. Acorn production by oaks in central coastal California: influence of weather at three levels. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 26: 1677-1683. [27154]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

RAUNKIAER [132] LIFE FORM:
Phanerophyte
  • 132. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

No entry.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering early to mid spring.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T4 - Apparently Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: TNR - Not Yet Ranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.

Public Domain

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden & USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: density, frequency, natural, presence, shrub, tree, xeric

Mesic coast live oak woodlands with shrub understories have adequate
regeneration, while xeric woodlands are
likely to have limited recruitment [30]. Thus, northern coastal populations of this tree are
generally stable, but the species is in decline
in southern California [112,143].
Coast live oak regeneration in xeric sites can be improved by reducing grazing intensity or
protecting individual seedlings from livestock [32,64,123,124]. Other threats to this oak
include urban and rural development, increased recreational
use of oak woodlands, and cutting trees for firewood [129,143].
Some coast live oak woodlands were cleared to increase forage for domestic
livestock, but since the early 1970s, urban and residential development have had
a much larger impact [1]. Coast live oak populations in Baja California were not
as heavily logged as in California, as natural gas and propane were available
when human populations in the area expanded. Here heavy grazing around population centers
has been the
primary anthropogenic limitation on recruitment [107]. Presence of honey-fungus (Armillaria
mellea) in the soils of sites now bereft of coast live or other oaks is a
good indicator of oak dominance in the past [22].

Diseases: The most serious threat to coast live oak, other red
oaks, and related non-oak species in the beech family is sudden oak death
disease.  The primary pathogen response for sudden oak death is the
fungus-like water mold Phytophora ramorum.
Previously described only as a greenhouse pathogen from northern Europe, its
origins are uncertain [55,103,136]. Another pathogen, Hypoxylon
thouarsianum, is associated with the disease as a secondary fungus.
Mature coast live oak are highly susceptible to sudden oak death, which can
kill apparently healthy trees within a few weeks to several years. Sudden oak
death disease has reached epidemic proportions in California and southwestern Oregon
and is particularly virulent on California's central coast, where coast live
oak is the dominant red oak species [103,136]. For example, coast live oak on 2
sites in Marin County showed infection rates of 35% in 2000 and 38% in 2001,
and 16% in 2002 and 19% in 2001, respectively. Coast live oak mortality at the
2 sites rose from 8 to 15% and 6 to 8% during that time. About 1/3rd of coast
live oak on the 2 sites showed evidence of infection.
Etiology of sudden oak death is unclear as of this
writing (2002). Bark and ambrosia
beetles (Scolytidae) are associated with infected trees and may be vectors for
the fungal pathogens [103] Coast live oak on moist sites may be more vulnerable
to Phytophora ramorum infection than trees on drier sites [150]. Ability of
infected trees to overcome the disease is unknown
[103]. Besides species in the oak family, a variety native woody plant species
serve as alternate hosts for Phytophora ramorum (i.e., Rhododenron
spp., huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.), and manzanitas). Although currently
isolated to 2 west coast states, seedling inoculum trials suggest that some
eastern red oak species may be even more susceptible to sudden oak death than
coast live and related California red oaks [136]. Standard fungicide
treatments (e.g., metalaxyl, cupper sulfate, and phosphoric acid) have shown
positive control of Phytophora ramorum in preliminary tests. Fungicides
may provide Phytophora ramorum control in urban settings and protect
small groups of wildland trees, but are not likely to be practical in large
wildland settings [78]. Information on how sudden oak death
is transmitted [40], diagnosed [136], and can be monitored [78]  is available.
Coast and interior live oaks are susceptible to oak drippy-nut disease, which
develops after wasps, acorn weevils, or other acorn feeders puncture acorns and allow
the bacteria Erwinia quercina to develop within [17]. Diplodia quercina, a
fungal pathogen that grows hyphae through wounds, may cause dieback of large branches
of coast live oak, valley oak, and California black oak. "Twigblight" in coast and
interior live oaks is caused by the fungal pathogens Cryptocline
cinerescens and Discula quercina; dieback may range from a few twigs to the
entire crown [69]. Epidemics of oak wilt disease, caused by the pathogen Ceratocystis
fagacearum, have occurred among
Texas oaks in urban forests and in live oak (Q. virginiana) savannas; coast and interior live oaks
are more resistant [4]. Watering during summer may cause root rot as a result of Armillaria
mellea infection or crown rot as a result of Phytophthora spp.
infection [69]. 
Insects: The California oakworm (Phryganidia californica) feeds on older
leaves in early summer and
leaves of all ages later in summer [98]. This moth occurs at low density in
most years but periodically, in approximately 5- to 7-year intervals, increases to outbreak levels
that defoliate coast
live oak [71]. The
California oakworm may feed on coast live oak year-round, as it has summer and
winter generations that feed without diapause. Outbreak frequency may be related
to climate: cold winters cause mortality [105]. Acorn feeders include the acorn weevil (Curculio occidentalis)
and to a lesser extent, the filbertworm (Melissopus latiferreanus).
One survey in northern California found that 38% of
coast live oak acorns had some boring and larval infestation, 70% of which were
acorn weevils and 30% were filbertworms. Infestation was greater on cooler, more shaded aspects of
trees [90].
  • 30. Callaway, Ragan M.; Davis, Frank W. 1998. Recruitment of Quercus agrifolia in central California: the importance of shrub-dominated patches. Journal of Vegetation Science. 9(5): 647-656. [41369]
  • 32. Carmen, William J.; Koenig, Walter D.; Mumme, Ronald L. 1987. Acorn production by five species of oaks over a seven year period at the Hastings Reservation, Carmel Valley, California. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 429-434. [5390]
  • 64. Griffin, James R. 1971. Oak regeneration in the upper Carmel Valley, California. Ecology. 52(5): 862-868. [9677]
  • 112. Muick, Pamela C.; Bartolome, James W. 1987. Factors associated with oak regeneration in California. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 86-91. [5370]
  • 123. Peart, Diann; McIntire, Elliot. 1990. Influence of feral pigs on oak woodland, hydrology examined through exclosure studies on Santa Cruz Island. Restoration & Management Notes. 8(1): 53. [13779]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]
  • 1. Adams, Theodore E., Jr.; Sands, Peter B.; Weitkamp, William H.; McDougald, Neil K. 1992. Oak seedling establishment in California oak woodlands. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; Hernandez C., Victor Manuel; Ortega-Rubio, Alfred; Hamre, R. H., tech. coords. Ecology and management of oak and associated woodlands: perspectives in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 137-140. [19753]
  • 4. Appel, David N. 1994. The potential for a California oak wilt epidemic. Journal of Arboriculture. 20(2): 79-86. [40852]
  • 17. Bonner, F. T.; Vozzo, J. A. 1987. Seed biology and technology of Quercus. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-66. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 21 p. [3248]
  • 22. Brown, Alan K. 2002. Historical oak woodland detected through Armillaria mellea damage in fruit orchards. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 651-661. [42355]
  • 40. Davidson, Jennifer M.; Rizzo, David M.; Garbelotto, Matteo; Tjosvold, Steven; Slaughter, Garey W. 2002. Phytophthora ramorum and sudden oak death in California: II. Transmission and survival. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 741-749. [42369]
  • 55. Garbelotto, Matteo; Rizzo, David M.; Hayden, Katie; Meija-chang, Monica; Davidson, Jennifer M.; Tjosvold, Steven. 2002. Phytophthora ramorum and sudden oak death in California: III. Preliminary studies in pathogen genetics. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 765-774. [42372]
  • 69. Hecht-Poinar, Eva I.; Costello, L. R.; Parmeter, J. R., Jr. 1987. Protection of California oak stands from diseases and insects. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 110-113. [5364]
  • 71. Hollinger, David Y. 1986. Herbivory and the cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus in isolated California oak trees. Oecologia. 70(2): 291-297. [40864]
  • 78. Kelly, Nina Maggi. 2002. Monitoring sudden oak death in California using high-resolution imagery. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 799-810. [42375]
  • 90. Lewis, Vernard R. 1991. The temporal and spatial distribution of filbert weevil infested acorns in an oak woodland in Marin County, California. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 156-160. [19057]
  • 98. Mauffette, Yves; Oechel, Walter C. 1989. Seasonal variation in leaf chemistry of the coast live oak Quercus agrifolia and implications for the California oak moth Phryganidia californica. Oecologia. 79: 439-445. [8732]
  • 103. McPherson, Brice A.; Wood, David L.; Storer, Andrew J.; Kelly, Nina Maggi; Standiford, Richard B. 2002. Sudden oak death: disease trends in Marin county plots after one year. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 751-764. [42370]
  • 105. Milstead, James E.; Volney, W. Jan A.; Lewis, Vernard R. 1987. Environmental factors influencing California oakworm feeding on California live oak. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 132-138. [5368]
  • 107. Minnich, Richard A.; Franco-Vizcaino, Ernesto. 1997. Mediterranean vegetation of northern Baja California. Fremontia. 25(3): 3-12. [40196]
  • 124. Perala, Christine; Hoover, Doris A.; Parra-Szijj, Emilia A. 1991. Southern oak woodland understory restoration. Restoration & Management Notes. 9(1): 39. [15456]
  • 136. Rizzo, David M.; Garbelotto, Matteo; Davidson, Jennifer M.; Slaughter, Garey W.; Koike, Steven T. 2002. Phytophthora ramorum and sudden oak death in California: I. Host relationships. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. coords. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 733-740. [42368]
  • 143. Scheidlinger, Carla R.; Zedler, Paul H. 1980. Change in vegetative cover of oak stands in southern San Diego County: 1928-1970. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 81-85. [7018]
  • 150. Swiecki, Tedmund J.; Bernhardt, Elizabeth. 2002. Evaluation of stem water potential and other tree and stand variables as risk factors for Phytophthora ramorum cankers development in coast live oak. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 787-798. [42374]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

It is best to plant species from your local area, adapted to the specific site conditions where the plants are to be grown. This species is available from most native plant nurseries within its range. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”

Public Domain

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden & USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Natural live oak regeneration from seeds tends to occur sporadically during winters with above average precipitation that falls evenly throughout the season. Seedlings are especially sensitive to trampling and too herbivory by rodents, deer, and cattle. Common insects include moth larvae and tent caterpillars. Mature trees are especially susceptible to oak crown and root rot fungi (e.g., Inonotus, Ganoderma, and Laetiporus) which decay wood in trunks and roots. Activities that disturb or compact soil around trees, including construction and livestock grazing need to be avoided or carefully managed within the near the zone of leaf canopy. Summer irrigation near oaks should also be avoided, especially in urban landscapes, because it promotes oak root and crown rot. When desirable, mature trees consumed by fires may be allowed to recover from stump sprouts if replanting on large tracts is uneconomical.

Public Domain

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden & USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

More info for the terms: basal area, fuel, tree

Coast live oak is used as an urban ornamental tree [26]. Native Americans planted coast live oaks to harvest the acorns as food. Coast live oak may have expanded its range into interior live oak habitats of northern California when coast live oak acorns were planted inland [137].

Wood Products: Coast live oak wood is primarily used for fuel [129] and can be managed for firewood production. Coast live oak is a good candidate for coppice management, as it sprouts vigorously from cut stumps. Few studies have been conducted on coast live oak response to thinning. Coast live oak stands on 4 sites on the central and southern California coastline responded to thinning with significantly greater basal area compared to unthinned stands [126].

Some commercial charcoal is made from coast live oak wood. The wood is hard, heavy, and fine-grained, but it is unsuitable for lumber because it cracks easily and warps badly [129]. 

  • 126. Pillsbury, Norman H.; Bonner, Lawrence E.; Thompson, Richard P. 2002. Coast live oak long-term thinning study -- twelve-year results. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 681-692. [42357]
  • 129. Plumb, Timothy R.; Gomez, Anthony P. 1983. Five southern California oaks: identification and postfire management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-71. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 56 p. [5898]
  • 26. Burger, D. W.; Forister, G. W.; Gross, R. 1997. Short and long-term effects of treeshelters on the root and stem growth of ornamental trees. Journal of Arboriculture. 32(2): 49-56. [40853]
  • 137. Rogers-Martinez, Dennis. 1992. The Sinkyone Intertribal Park project. Restoration & Management Notes. 10(1): 64-69. [19172]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the terms: density, restoration

Coast live oak is favored for use in rehabilitation projects throughout its range. It is used in watershed improvement, restoration, and wildlife habitat rehabilitation projects [59,74,124]. 

Artificial regeneration of coast live oak is typically from acorn plantings or transplanting seedlings and saplings.  The Oak Habitat Restoration Project in Walnut Creek has had good success with direct plantings of coast live oak acorns. About 1 in 3 acorns established as seedlings, and survivorship of 1st-year seedlings has been about 60%. Kraetsch [85] provides techniques for artificial regeneration of coast live oak from acorns. In the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve of Los Angeles County, nursery seedlings were planted for slope stabilization and wildlife habitat improvement. Survival of these seedlings was between 40 and 75% over 3 years [119]. Transplants along the Santa Margarita River in San Diego County have also shown good survival [134]. In eastern Ventura County, coast live oak was planted to help restore the ecotone between saltbush (Atriplex spp.), black sage, and annual grassland communities [120]. Recommendations for nursery propagation of coast live oak are 36 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (2.5-5 °C) acorn storage, germination in wet vermiculite, and planting in tar paper tubes filled with 25% topsoil, 25% organic matter, and 50% sand. Burger and others [26] also recommend transferring seedlings to glass houses after 0.8 inch (2 cm) of aboveground growth. Root fragments seldom host both ecto- and endomycorrhizae; inoculating with both types is generally detrimental [50].

Transplanting older trees has been successful. Planting saplings, rather than seedlings, may be indicated if herbivory pressure is expected to be high. Studies show that while coast live oak mortality from herbivory can be great, saplings are resistant to browsing damage [48,111,127]. Large coast live oak trees slated for removal because of roadway or other construction have been successfully transplanted onto favorable sites using heavy equipment [36]. Dagit and Downer [38] provide information on transplanting mature trees.

Coast live oak is also established by acorn plantings. In the Berkeley Hills, seedlings grown from locally collected acorns had 75% survival in their 1st year. Seedlings were hand-watered twice during summer because of drought [133]. Seedling survival is enhanced by weeding competitors, providing protection against herbivores and acorn predators with above- and belowground wire caging, and providing microsite shading. Acorns are collected from local oaks in late fall. Planting density recommendations and other cultivation methods have been detailed [115,144]. 

  • 48. Dunning, Connell E.; Paine, Timothy D.; Redak, Richard A. 2002. Insect-oak interactions with coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) and Englemann oak (Quercus engelmannii) at the acorn and seedling stage. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 205-218. [42318]
  • 111. Muick, Pamela C. 1991. Effects of shade on blue oak and coast live oak regeneration in California annual grasslands. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 21-24. [17382]
  • 115. Odion, Dennis C.; Bornstein, Carol J.; Carroll, Mary C. 1988. Revegetation in the Santa Barbara region: enduring dilemmas and potential solutions. In: Rieger, John P.; Williams, Bradford K., eds. Proceedings of the second native plant revegetation symposium; 1987 April 15-18; San Diego, CA. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society of Ecological Restoration and Management: 76-91. [4099]
  • 127. Pillsbury, Norman H.; Joseph, John P. 1991. Coast live oak thinning study in the central coast of California--fifth-year results. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 320-332. [42809]
  • 144. Schettler, Suzanne; Smith, Michael N. 1980. Nursery propagation of California oaks. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 143-148. [7027]
  • 26. Burger, D. W.; Forister, G. W.; Gross, R. 1997. Short and long-term effects of treeshelters on the root and stem growth of ornamental trees. Journal of Arboriculture. 32(2): 49-56. [40853]
  • 36. Cross, Richard D. 1980. Oak tree banks and relocation. In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology, management, and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 176-177. [7034]
  • 38. Dagit, Rosi; Downer, A. James. 2002. To prune or not to prune: responses of coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) to canopy retention during transplanting. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 369-380. [42332]
  • 50. Egerton-Warburton, Louise; Allen, Michael F. 2001. Endo- and ectomycorrhizas in Quercus agrifolia Nee. (Fagaceae): patterns of root colonization and effects on seedling growth. Mycorrhiza. 11(6): 283-290. [40857]
  • 59. Goldner, Bernard H. 1984. Riparian restoration efforts associated with structurally modified flood control channels. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management: Proceedings of the conference; 1981 September 17-19; Davis, CA. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 445-451. [5852]
  • 74. Howald, Ann M.; D'Antonio, Carla. 1990. Designing a monitoring program for a native plant community revegetation project. In: Hughes, H. Glenn; Bonnicksen, Thomas M., eds. Restoration '89: the new management challenge: Proceedings, 1st annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration; 1989 January 16-20; Oakland, CA. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society for Ecological Restoration: 182-193. [14694]
  • 85. Kraetsch, Ralph. 2002. Ten years of oak restoration in city of Walnut Creek Open Spaces. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 581-590. [42349]
  • 119. Parra-Szijj, Emilia A. 1990. Revegetation in the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve: a seven year summary. In: Hughes, H. Glenn; Bonnicksen, Thomas M., eds. Restoration '89: the new management challenge: Proceedings, 1st annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration; 1989 January 16-20; Oakland, CA. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum; Society for Ecological Restoration: 139-151. [14693]
  • 120. Patey, Katherine J.; Wishner, Carl; Gibson, Joseph G. 1991. Tapo Canyon Creek riparian habitat restoration plan. Restoration & Management Notes. 9(1): 47-48. [15454]
  • 124. Perala, Christine; Hoover, Doris A.; Parra-Szijj, Emilia A. 1991. Southern oak woodland understory restoration. Restoration & Management Notes. 9(1): 39. [15456]
  • 133. Rice, Carol. 1990. Restoration plays an integral role in fire hazard reduction plan for the Berkeley Hills Area. Restoration & Management Notes. 8(2): 125-126. [13792]
  • 134. Rieger, John. 1988. Irrigation, container-grown plants used in riparian mitigation project (California). Restoration & Management Notes. 6(1): 40-41. [5425]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the terms: cover, density, forbs, litter, shrubs, tree

Coast live oak woodlands are some of the most important habitats to wildlife in California [57]. These communities are preferred habitat for black bear and black-tailed deer. In chaparral areas where shrubs predominate, coast live oak stands with an understory of mixed shrubs and forbs are critical to black-tailed deer [131]. Coast live oak provides browse for black-tailed deer and various rodents and lagomorphs [140]. Feral pigs and pocket gophers eat the roots, and black bear, feral pig, black-tailed deer, rodents, and various upland game and nongame birds consume the acorns heavily [123,140]. Coast live oak litter provides excellent hunting opportunities for insectivorous vagrant and ornate shrews [131]. Cattle eat coast live oak sprouts [124]. Most livestock do not readily browse mature foliage, although domestic goats eat it year-round [62]. Livestock readily consume the acorns [140].

Coast live oak communities support a number of bird species including the federally endangered least Bell's vireo and least tern [87,117]. Acorns of coast live oak are of particular value to acorn feeders, as they are retained on tree for up to 8 months [32]. Acorn-dependent birds include the acorn woodpecker, yellow-billed magpie, and scrub jay [64,88]. Acorns comprise over 50% of diets of the acorn woodpecker and scrub jay in fall and winter [88].

Palatability/nutritional value: Nutritional information on coast live oak foliage is sparse. One study found the protein content of leaves was 4.6% in December. Springtime protein levels were not determined; however, protein content of interior live oak, a closely related species, was 17.6% in May [15]. Coast live oak acorns are 6.26% protein, 16.7% fat, and 54.7% carbohydrate [6]. The palatability of coast live oak foliage has been rated useless for cattle and horses, poor to useless for domestic sheep, and fair to poor for black-tailed deer [140].

Cover value: Western sycamore/coast live oak communities in the South Coast Ranges provide wintering grounds for 32 species of birds, at a density of approximately 251 birds per acre (620/ha) [51]. An estimated 41% of owl territories in southern California are interior and coast live oak/bigcone Douglas-fir forests. Owls are benefited by fire in adjacent chaparral, which increases prey populations [160]. Red-shouldered hawks rely heavily on coast live oak woodlands in southern California but adapt to urban woodlands as well [16].

Several cavity-nesting birds use coast live oak for nesting. In a Santa Barbara County study, western bluebird and ash-throated flycatcher were the most common nest occupants. Bewick's wren, oak titmouse, tree swallow, and violet-green sparrow also use coast live oak cavities [113].

  • 32. Carmen, William J.; Koenig, Walter D.; Mumme, Ronald L. 1987. Acorn production by five species of oaks over a seven year period at the Hastings Reservation, Carmel Valley, California. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 429-434. [5390]
  • 57. Garcia, Sergio L.; Jensen, Wayne A.; Weitkamp, William H.; Tietje, William D. 1991. Acorn yield during 1988 and 1989 on California's central coast. In: Standiford, Richard B., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on oak woodlands and hardwood rangeland management; 1990 October 31 - November 2; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-126. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 161-163. [19058]
  • 64. Griffin, James R. 1971. Oak regeneration in the upper Carmel Valley, California. Ecology. 52(5): 862-868. [9677]
  • 88. Lathrop, Earl W.; Martin, Bradford D. 1982. Response of understory vegetation to prescribed burning in yellow pine forests of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, California. Aliso. 10(2): 329-343. [15943]
  • 123. Peart, Diann; McIntire, Elliot. 1990. Influence of feral pigs on oak woodland, hydrology examined through exclosure studies on Santa Cruz Island. Restoration & Management Notes. 8(1): 53. [13779]
  • 6. Bainbridge, David A. 1987. The use of acorns for food in California: past, present, future. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 453-458. [5395]
  • 15. Bissell, Harold D.; Strong, Helen. 1955. The crude protein variations in the browse diet of California deer. California Fish and Game. 41(2): 145-155. [10524]
  • 16. Bloom, Peter H.; McCrary, Michael D.; Gibson, Marjorie J. 1993. Red-shouldered hawk home-range and habitat use in southern California. Journal of Wildlife Management. 57(2): 258-265. [21263]
  • 51. England, A. Sidney; Foreman, Larry D.; Laudenslayer, William F., Jr. 1984. Composition and abundance of bird populations in riparian systems of the California deserts. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 694-705. [5870]
  • 62. Green, Lisle R.; Newell, Leonard A. 1982. Using goats to control brush regrowth on fuelbreaks. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-59. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 13 p. [10681]
  • 87. LaRosa, Ronald. 1984. Environmental resource conservation: riparian system enhancement through water reclamation. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 459-464. [5853]
  • 113. Mummert, Daniel P.; Baines, Laura; Tietje, William D. 2002. Cavity-nesting bird use of nest boxes in vineyards of central-coast California. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 335-340. [42330]
  • 117. Olson, Thomas E.; Gray, M. Violet. 1989. Characteristics of least Bell's vireo nest sites along the Santa Ynez River. In: Proceedings of the California riparian systems conference: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 278-284. [14447]
  • 124. Perala, Christine; Hoover, Doris A.; Parra-Szijj, Emilia A. 1991. Southern oak woodland understory restoration. Restoration & Management Notes. 9(1): 39. [15456]
  • 131. Quinn, Ronald D. 1990. Habitat preferences and distribution of mammals in California chaparral. Res. Pap. PSW-202. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p. [15761]
  • 140. Sampson, Arthur W.; Jespersen, Beryl S. 1963. California range brushlands and browse plants. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Division of Agricultural Sciences, California Agricultural Experiment Station, Extension Service. 162 p. [3240]
  • 160. Weatherspoon, C. Phillip; Husari, Susan J.; van Wagtendonk, Jan W. 1992. Fire and fuels management in relation to owl habitat in forests of the Sierra Nevada and southern California. In: Verner, Jared; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Noon, Barry R.; Gutierrez, R. J.; Gould, Gordon I., Jr.; Beck, Thomas W., tech. coords. The California spotted owl: a technical assessment of its current status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-133. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 247-260. [22630]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Uses

Erosion: Coast live oaks stabilize soil on slopes, provide an organic-rich litter, and contribute to a habitat for a diversity of insects, birds, and mammals.

Wildlife: Acorns are an important food source for birds, small mammals, and deer. Deer may browse the young foliage.

Ethnobotanic: Native Americans used acorns as an important food staple and early European colonists found that its wood made a superior charcoal for use in a variety of industries, including baking and preparing mortar.

Landscape and beautification: Coast live oak is an important element in both natural and man-made landscapes, providing shade and an aesthetic quality.

Public Domain

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden & USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Quercus agrifolia

Quercus agrifolia, the coast live oak, is an evergreen oak (highly variable and often shrubby), native to the California Floristic Province. It grows west of the Sierra Nevada from Mendocino County, California, south to northern Baja California in Mexico. It is classified in the red oak section (Quercus sect. Lobatae).

This species is commonly sympatric with canyon live oak, and the two may be hard to distinguish because their spinose leaves are superficially similar.

Description[edit]

Coast live oak, Sonoma County

Coast live oak typically has a much-branched trunk and reaches a mature height of 10–25 meters. Some specimens may attain an age exceeding 250 years, with trunk diameters up to three or four meters, such as those on the Filoli estate in San Mateo County.

The trunk, particularly for older individuals, may be highly contorted, massive and gnarled. The crown is broadly rounded and dense, especially when aged 20 to 70 years; in later life the trunk and branches are more well defined and the leaf density lower.

Leaves[edit]

The leaves are dark green, oval, often convex in shape, 2–7 cm long and 1–4 cm broad; the leaf margin is spiny-toothed (spinose), with sharp thistly fibers that extend from the lateral leaf veins. The outer layers of leaves are designed for maximum solar absorption, containing two to three layers of photosynthetic cells.

These outer leaves are deemed to be small in size to more efficiently re-radiate the heat gained from solar capture. Shaded leaves are generally broader and thinner, having only a single layer of photosynthetic cells. The convex leaf shape may be useful for interior leaves which depend on capturing reflected light scattered in random directions from the outer canopy.

Inflorescence and acorns[edit]

Acorns and leaves

The flowers are produced in early-to-mid spring; the male flowers are pendulous catkins 5–10 cm long, the female flowers inconspicuous, less than 0.5 cm long, with 1-3 clustered together. The fruit is a slender reddish brown acorn 2-3.5 cm long and 1-1.5 cm broad, with the basal quarter enclosed in a cupule; unusually for a red oak, the acorns mature about 7–8 months after pollination (most red oak acorns take 18 months to mature).

Recognized varieties[edit]

There are two varieties of Quercus agrifolia:

  • Quercus agrifolia var. agrifolia. Throughout the range of the species. Leaves that are glabrous to slightly hairy on the abaxial side, especially near the leaf vein axils. Hybrids with Q. kelloggii, Q. parvula var. shevei, and Q. wislizenii are known.
  • Quercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia. Southwesternmost California (San Diego area), Baja California. Leaves that are tomentose abaxially, with densely interwoven hairs. It prefers granitic soils; hybrids with Q. kelloggii known.

Hybridity[edit]

Several hybrids between coast live oak and other red oak species have been documented. Hybrids with interior live oak (Q. wislizenii) are known in many areas in northern California. Coast live oak also hybridizes with Nuttall's scrub oak and Shreve oak (Q. parvula var. shrevii). All these oak species show evidence of introgression with one another.

Etymology[edit]

The name Quercus agrifolia literally means "field-leaved oak," from the Latin "quercus," meaning "oak," "agri" meaning "field," and folia, meaning "leaved." This species is sometimes known by the name "California live oak".

Habitat and ecology[edit]

Coast Live Oak off California 101, central coast.

Coast live oak is the only California native oak that actually thrives in the coastal environment, although it is rare on the immediate shore; it enjoys the mild winter and summer climate afforded by ocean proximity, and it is somewhat tolerant of aerosol-borne sea salt. The coastal fog supplies relief from the rainless California summer heat.

It is the dominant overstory plant of the coast live oak woodland habitat, often joined by California bay laurel and California buckeye north of Big Sur. Associated understory plants include toyon, various manzanitas and western poison-oak.

Normally the tree is found on well drained soils of coastal hills and plains, often near year round or perennial streams. It may be found in several natural communities including coast live oak woodland, Engelmann oak woodland, valley oak woodland and both northern and southern mixed evergreen forests. While normally found within 100 kilometers of the Pacific Ocean at elevations less than 700 meters, in southern California it occasionally occurs at up to 1,500 meters in altitude.

The California oak moth (Phryganidia californica) caterpillar subsists entirely on living and fallen leaves of the Coast Live Oak. In 8-10 year cycles, the caterpillar will appear in sufficient abundance to denude healthy trees. The trees recover, and botanists speculate that the species provide mutual benefit, possibly in the form of fertilizer for the oak [1]. The coast live oak is also the only known foodplant of Chionodes vanduzeei caterpillars.

Economic usage[edit]

Historical usage[edit]

Coast live oak at Rancho Los Encinos in the San Fernando Valley

At least twelve distinct cultures of Native Americans are known to have consumed the acorns as a dietary staple.[citation needed] In the 18th century Spaniards in the San Fernando Valley used the wood for charcoal to fire kilns in making adobe. Later this form of charcoal would be utilized in the baking, gunpowder and electric power industries.

In the 18th and 19th centuries shipbuilders sought out the odd angular branches to make special joints. Pioneers moving west would harvest small amounts for making farm implements and wagon wheels, but the greatest impact was the wholesale clearing of oak woodlands to erect sprawling cities such as San Diego and San Francisco. The irregular shape often let the tree escape widespread harvest for building timbers, and also led the early settlers to endow the coast live oak with mystical qualities. Its stateliness has made it a subject of historical landscape painters throughout California modern history since the mid-19th century.

Modern usage[edit]

Coast live oak has also become a common addition to western USA landscaping. It is however sensitive to changes in grading and drainage; in particular, it is important to respect the root crown level and avoid adding soil near the trunk when construction or landscaping occurs.

Also, if incorporating it into a landscaping scheme with artificial irrigation, it is important to avoid regular watering within the oak's drip line (canopy), since wet soil in the summer increases infection rates by soil-borne Phytophthora diseases like sudden oak death.[1]

Geographical monikers[edit]

The coast live oak, especially in its Spanish forms encino or encina, encinitas "little oaks", and encinal "oak grove", gave its name to seven land grants across California and to many communities and geographic features.

These include Rancho Los Encinos, the community of Encino near Los Angeles, Encinitas near San Diego, and Encinal del Temescal, now the city of Oakland.[2]

Paso Robles ('Pass of the Oaks') also refers to oaks as a geographical place name.

References[edit]

  1. ^ J. M. Davidson (7 July 2003). "Sudden Oak Death and Associated Diseases Caused by Phytophthora ramorum". Plant Management Network. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Gudde, Erwin, and William Bright, California Place Names, University of California Press, 4th edition, 1998, ISBN 0-520-21316-5, p. 123-124

Further reading[edit]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Notes

Comments

Quercus agrifolia is found in the Coast Ranges from Sonoma County, California, south to Baja California. Plants with densely pubescent leaves, especially abaxially, have been treated as Q . agrifolia var. oxyadenia . 

 This species reportedly hybridizes with Quercus kelloggii and Q . wislizenii .

The Mahuna used Quercus agrifolia medicinally to heal the bleeding navel of a newborn (D. E. Moerman 1986).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

More info for the term: introgression

The currently accepted scientific name of coast live oak is Quercus agrifolia
Nee. (Fagaceae). Two varieties of coast live oak are recognized [70,76]:

Quercus agrifolia Nee var. agrifolia

Quercus agrifolia Nee var. oxyadenia (Torr.) J.T. Howell


Coast live oak is classified in the
red oak subgenus (Erythrobalanus)
[7,65,67,92,114].
Several hybrids between coast live oak and other  red oak
species have been documented [20,70]. Quercus a. var. oxyadenia × California black oak (Q. kelloggii) hybrids, known as
Q. × ganderi C.B. Wolf, occur in San Diego County [20]. California black oak also hybridizes with the typical variety
of coast live oak (Q. a. var. agrifolia). This cross, known as Q. × chasei McMinn, is found in Monterey and
Santa Cruz counties. Hybrids between interior live oak (Q. wislizenii) and
the typical variety of coast live oak are known
in many areas in northern California. Coast live oak also hybridizes with Nuttall's scrub oak (Q. dumosa)
and Shreve oak (Q. parvula var. shrevii)
[44,114]. All these oak species show evidence of introgression
with one another [44].
There is some uncertainty about the degree of introgression between interior
and coast live oaks. Brophy and Parnell [20] note that limited hybridization has occurred
but the 2 species remain relatively distinct. Dodd and others [45] estimate that in the northern part of
interior and coast live oaks' ranges, where hybridization is greatest, up to 60%
of coast live oak may show signs of introgression.

  • 114. Munz, Philip A.; Keck, David D. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1905 p. [6155]
  • 7. Barbour, Michael G. 1987. Community ecology and distribution of California hardwood forests and woodlands. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 18-25. [5356]
  • 44. Dodd, Richard S.; Kashani, Nasser; Afzal-Rafii, Zara. 2002. Population diversity and evidence of introgression among the black oaks of California. In: Standiford, Richard B.; McCreary, Douglas; Purcell, Kathryn L., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on oak woodlands: oaks in California's changing landscape; 2001 October 22-25; San Diego, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-184. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 775-785. [42373]
  • 67. Griffin, James R.; Critchfield, William B. 1972. The distribution of forest trees in California. Res. Pap. PSW-82. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 118 p. [1041]
  • 70. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 20. Brophy, William B.; Parnell, Dennis R. 1974. Hybridization between Quercus agrifolia and Q. wislizenii (Fagaceae). Madrono. 22(6): 290-302. [40869]
  • 45. Dodd, Richard S.; Rafii, Zara A.; Bojovic, Srdjan. 1993. Chemosystematic study of hybridization in Californian live oak: acorn steroids. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 21(4): 467-473. [40860]
  • 65. Griffin, James R. 1973. Xylem sap tension in three woodland oaks of central California. Ecology. 54(1): 152-159. [3707]
  • 92. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
  • 76. Kartesz, John T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1st ed. In: Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina Botanical Garden (Producer). In cooperation with: The Nature Conservancy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. [36715]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Common Names

coast live oak

encina

California live oak

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!