Native Plant of the Month: Oregon Oak

By City Landscape Staff02 Oregon Oak 1

  • Binomial Name: Quercus garryana
  • Soil Type: Drought-Tolerant
  • Sunlight: Prefers Full Sun
  • Form/Growth: Oval Form, Groves Create a Canopy
  • Plant Type: Medium-Sized Tree
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Flowering: Yes (Catkins)

Reaching up to 75 ft tall and 60 ft wide, Oregon oaks are also occasionally grown small and shrubby.  The 5” long leaves are shiny, dark green on top, paler and hairy below, and the leaf blades are oblong in outline with 3 to 7 deep, rounded lobes on each side.  This native produces edible acorns surrounded by a shallow, scaly cap and reach up to 3 cm long.

Oregon oaks are very drought-tolerant, historically making natural wildfires common in the drier portions of the Pacific Northwest, where these trees are found.  Due to advances in natural fire suppression, today Oregon oaks are known as excellent firewood, and although the wood has a beautiful grain, it is not used much for commercial purposes due to its difficulty to season without warping.

Oregon oak woodlands throughout the Pacific Northwest are critical habitats for a number of plant, animal, and bryophyte species that are rare or virtually eradicated in the region.

This Native Plant of the Month has been brought to you by the City of Beaverton’s Landscape and Urban Forestry Department along with Clean Water Services.  Visit Clean Water Service’s Native Plant Finder webpage for interactive questions to help you find the right native plant to fit your needs!