Characteristics of Engelmann Oak Trees (Quercus engelmannii) in the Wild

Quercus engelmannii
Engelmann oak or Pasadena oak (Quercus engelmannii) is a species of white oak, native to southern and northwestern California, Baja California, and Mexico.

The natural range of Engelmann oak extends from the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Ana, Orange County, the western foothills and mesas of the Peninsular Ranges, and San Diego. It then extends to the Sierra Juarez and the Sierra San Pedro Martir ranges from northern Baja California.

It also has a smaller range than most California oaks, and its suburban distribution in the San Gabriel Valley has removed oaks from much of the north. The largest remaining stands of Engelmann Oak are in the Santa Rosa Highlands, near Murrieta in Riverside County, and Black Mountain near Ramona in San Diego County.

Engelmann oak is commonly found in savannas and forests above dry coastal plains but below 1,300 m asl where colder winters occur.

Engelmann’s oak is considered the northernmost species of subtropical oak.

 

Characteristics of Engelmann Oak Leaf

Quercus engelmannii Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Alan King

The leaves are leathery, turquoise, sometimes wavy, with smooth margins, 3-6 cm long and 1-2 cm wide.

 

Characteristics of Engelmann Oak Flower

Quercus engelmannii Flower
Source: flickr.com/Alan King

The flowers are catkins.

 

Characteristics of Engelmann Oak Fruit

Quercus engelmannii Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Spidra Webster

The fruit is 1.5-2.5 cm long and matures 6-8 months after pollination.

 

Characteristics of Engelmann Oak Tree

Quercus engelmannii Tree
Source: flickr.com/dfosket

Engelmann oak grows as a small tree up to 10 meters tall, is generally evergreen all year round, but occasionally decides during hot, dry summers, and has a round canopy on older trees. The bark is thick, grooved, and light gray.

The IUCN classifies the species Quercus engelmannii as endangered.

 

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