Blue Oak

Quercus douglasii

This oak tree is well-known for the lovely bluish cast of its deciduous leaves. West of the Sierra, it covers many acres of foothill oak savannah, an integral part of the oak-savannah rangeland. It casts a shade that is delightful for people and livestock, providing an environment where native grasses can thrive.

Its acorns are important to wildlife. They are available in late September and October, but will begin to sprout soon after, so should be purchased in the fall.

To grow, place them in pots on their sides, so the roots can grow down and the sprouts can grow up towards the light. Protect from birds (particularly jays) and squirrels. Transplant into the ground before the taproot hits the bottom of the pot, usually after 6 to 8 months. Or else, transplant to a larger container.

They can also be grown directly in the ground; they will also require protection from predation in that situation. Growing them directly in the ground produces the healthiest trees, since they are never stunted by the container.