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The Coast Live (or California Live) Oak


Picture of the tree Coast Live Oak (quercus agrifolia oxydenia)
Coast Live Oak, click to enlarge

The Coast Live Oak (sometimes called the California Live Oak) produces a magnificent specimen tree with a typically oak tree shape. It is unusual for an oak tree because it is evergreen.

Coast Live Oak (quercus agrifolia var. oxydenia)
The Coast Live Oak is native to southern parts of North America and northern parts of South America. It is also found in parks and arboretums across North America and Europe.

The tree grows to around 20 meters high at maturity which can be as old as 250 years. The Coast Live Oak is classified as a red oak.

Leaf of the Coast live Oak

The leaves are a glossy green colour and not like the traditional oak leaf in shape. About 5cm (2 in) long by 3cm wide (1 in) the leaves have thin-toothed edges which become sharper with age. The bark of the Caost Live Oak

The male flowers are thin catkins around 7cm (3 in) long, whereas the less obvious female flowers are tiny balls grouped together on short stems. Both are produced in April time. The pollinated female flowers turn into rather elongated, red acorns in October of the same year. This is unusual for red oaks, the acorns are normally produced over two years.