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2018 Crop California
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Quercus lobata

California White Oak, Valley Oak

Recalcitrant seeds need refrigeration. Since shipping times are out of our control, we are not liable for seed condition upon arrival.
  • Quercus lobata

Please select the quantity desired, and we will advise availability and price as soon as possible.


Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

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New Zealand

Growing Info

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 California white oak, 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 9 ft in diameter, and towering heights that may surpass 100 ft. 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.

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