Oak: California Live Oak, Coast Live Oak Quercus agrifolia
FAMILY: FAGACEAE (Oak Family)
The California live oak Quercus agrifolia is one of the evergreen oak species: it does not lose its crown of widely spreading leaves, which makes it a perfect picnic tree in the California sunshine!
These hardy native trees are well adapted to California's brush fires: their branches put out new shoots after being lightly burned, and their trunks can resprout from the base. They were also an important source of food to Native American tribes, who pounded the narrow acorns into meal.
Where they grow in the wild, California live oaks are important elements in the habitat that stabilize soil on slopes, provide an organic-rich leaf litter for the soil, and make homes for insects, birds, and small mammals.