Search This Blog

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quercus wislizeni - Interior Live Oak

A minor variation of the Coast Live Oak, the interior live oak is found growing with the CLO and can be difficult to distinguish. Its a medium sized tree, frequently multi-stemmed with the main branches start very close to the ground but having an upright to spreading habit to them. Branches very stout. (Spelling, one i or two?). 



I didn't mention how large they can get, but I encountered these picking out a Christmas Tree at Crest Farms. Listed as growing to 75' and from the looks of it wider than tall.








Leaves are evergreen, simple, ovate to oblong elliptical, 1 1/2- 2" long, margins either entire or spines, dark glossy green and lacking hair of any sort on the tops. Literature states that the leaves are flat, but from those I have looked at many seem to be revolute like the second photo. It might be an age thing, with older leaves being revolute.





Flowers are monoecious, males in 2-3" long catkins while the females are small, looking like nothing but little red strings borne in the axils of the leaves further down the stem.





Fruit is an acorn. 1-2" long, narrow and matures in 2 years (18 months). Stem showing 2 years of acorns, on the left side of the stem you can see immature 2nd year fruit and on the right you can see young flowers turing into fruit.



Mature acorns.



Quercus agrifolia on the left, Q. wislizeni on the right.



Bark on young stems gray, older stems are irregularly furrowed into small plates. Bark is different than Q. agrifolia


Misidentification:
Q. agrifolia - bark is different, acorns are long and skinny compared to Q. agrifolia and they take longer to mature. I also look at the foliage.

Location:
Aptos:
Cabrillo College, near the west side of Building 500.
7339 Mesa Dr. as seen in picture at the top.

Santa Cruz
Wilder State Park, intermixed with Q. agrifolia.
Empire Grade - Crest Farms - not really in the front yard, but if you go during the holiday season you will see the same ones as I.

No comments:

Post a Comment