Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 60 days , or until radicle emergence
Germination: sow 1-2" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
Other: fall sowing in mulched beds is prefered to artificial stratification
Quercus lobata, also known as the Valley oak or roble, is a magnificent deciduous oak that grows to be the largest of North American oaks. Mature specimens may live up to 600 years old, with a sturdy trunk that can exceed three meters in diameter, and towering heights that may surpass 30 meters. Known for its thick, ridged bark that resembles alligator hide, the Valley oak's deeply lobed leaves assist in its identification. As a native Californian, it requires year-round access to groundwater and tolerates cool wet winters and hot dry summers, but requires abundant water. This majestic tree produces 3" leaves, and over most of the range, acorns fall in October, providing a food source for various mammals and birds, including the Acorn Woodpecker, Western Scrub Jay, Yellow-billed Magpie, and California ground squirrel. The valley oak is widely distributed in the California Central Valley, smaller valleys such as the San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, and Santa Ynez Valley, and is also present on Santa Cruz Island and Catalina Island in the Pacific Ocean. It is found in dense riparian forests, open foothill woodlands, and valley savannas, typically with the company of coast live oak, interior live oak, blue oak, California black walnut, California sycamore, and gray pine. Although difficulties in acquiring Valley oak wood and its drying issues have shifted its consumption from a general purpose lumber to a primarily niche product, its highly impermeable and water-tight wood has found a significant market for cabinetry and hardwood flooring. Additionally, valley oak wood is used in the production of water-tight vessels, including wine barrels.