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Products > Quercus agrifolia
Quercus agrifolia - Coast Live Oak

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Fagaceae (Oaks)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 40-60 feet
Width: 40-50 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak) - Coast live oak is native to California and Baja. This beautiful drought-resistant, evergreen tree, ranges in height from 20 to 70 feet and in diameter from 1 to 4 feet. The bark of young trees is smooth. With age, it develops deep furrows, ridges, and a thick bark. The inner bark and cork layers are thick. Open-grown crowns are broad and dense, with foliage often reaching the ground. In open areas trunks are usually 4 to 8 feet tall; at this height, primary branches originate and grow horizontally. Trees in dense stands generally have irregular crowns and few lower branches. In closed stands trunks may be branchless up to 20 feet high, where several branches extend diagonally upward. Coast live oak stands are typically from 40 to 110 years old, individual trees may live over 250 years. Coast live oak occurs in a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Coast live oak begins flower and fruit production during stem elongation in the spring. Flowering of coast live oak is triggered by warm temperature. In late spring new growth emerges and sheds all the foliage at the same time. The root system consists of a deep taproot that is usually nonfunctional in large trees. Several deep main roots may tap groundwater if present within approximately 36 feet of the soil surface. Coast live oak develops extensive horizontal root branches and surface-feeding roots. Tree roots in southwestern California are associated with mycorrhizae that aid in water uptake during the dry season. Plant in full sun to partial shade. Cold hardy to <15 F.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Quercus agrifolia.