Live Oak tree

Scientific Name

Quercus agrifolia

Full Sun

Part Sun

Part Shade

Low

Moderate

Max. Height × Width

70 × 40 feet

More information

calscape.org

Price & Availability

Forestry pot 14 inch

$12

2 available

Forestry pot 18 inch

$20

Not available

We ask you, what other California native has its own foundation? Our reverence for the evergreen Coast Live Oak, with its characteristically crusty, gray bark and gnarled, impossibly twisted limbs, is equally singular. A sizeable Coast Live Oak on your property will act as a powerful wildlife magnet, attracting and supporting a veritable A-List of local bird species.

The trees’ considerable leaf litter, if left on the ground (as it should be) will eventually form a wonderfully thick mulch, much beloved by various coevolute oak understory plants. And while these trees may be long-lived, they’re relatively fast-growing. (That said, you probably don’t need to worry too much about dealing with maximum height and width when you plant an oak seedling –  that is, unless you’re planning on living for a few hundred years. Future generations of Nuttall’s Woodpeckers will thank you nonetheless.)

We offer Coast Live Oak seedlings sprouted from acorns gathered in the LANPS garden, which makes them particularly suitable for planting in Northeastern L.A. gardens. We start them in 14″ forestry pots to assure that the trees’ long taproot isn’t coiled on itself before you even plant it, a condition that can doom many 1-gallon, commercially grown oak seedlings in the long run. After a year or so, we “graduate” them to 18″ deepots so that they will continue to have room to keep growing until they’re planted out.

Site your seedling in a sunny to part-shady spot in your garden where it will have plenty of room to grow, away from plants that need a lot of supplemental water in the summer. Your seedling will, however, need deep, monthly watering outside the rainy season for its first year or two and may need protection from intense summer heat while it’s getting established if you site it in full sun. Most importantly for its overall wellbeing, keep weeds and non-native grasses under control in the vicinity of your baby oak.

With California’s Quercus agrifolia population under multiple threats – from unintentionally imported insect plagues to climate change – there is, perhaps, no other act of native gardening that will have a greater positive impact on the future health of the local environment than successfully planting a Coast Live Oak. The sooner you get yours in the ground, the more likely you’ll be around to enjoy sitting in the merciful shade of its canopy on some hot summer day in, say, 2039.

 

Drawing of plant with berries

Bitter Gooseberry

Ribes amarum

flowers

Blue Dicks

Dipterostemon (Dichelostemma) capitatus

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Blue Elderberry

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Blue Wildrye

Elymus glaucus

Branching Phacelia

Phacelia ramosissima

Brickell Bush

Brickellia californica

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

California Aster

Corethrogyne filaginifolia

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California Four O’Clock

Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia

California Fuchsia

Epilobium canum ssp. canum

California Prickly Phlox

Linanthus californicus

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Canyon Dudleya

Dudleya cymosa

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Cardinal Catchfly

Silene laciniata

Caterpillar Phacelia

Phacelia cicutaria

Coast Prickly Pear

Opuntia littoralis

Illustration of plant in planter

Coffeeberry

Frangula californica

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Fiesta Flower

Pholistoma auritum

Drawing of plant with handing flowers

Fuchsiaflower Gooseberry

Ribes speciosum

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Hollyleaf Redberry

Rhamnus ilicifolia

Longstem Buckwheat

Eriogonum elongatum

Drawing of plant with feathery flowers

Mountain Mahogany

Cercocarpus betuloides

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Poison Oak

Toxicodendron diversilobum

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Punch Bowl Godetia

Clarkia bottae

Rooreh

Claytonia perfoliata

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Round Leafed Boykinia

Boykinia rotundifolia

Sacred Datura

Datura wrightii

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Santa Barbara Honeysuckle

Lonicera subspicata var. denudata

Illustration of plant in planter

Saw-Toothed Goldenbush

Hazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides

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Scarlet Larkspur

Delphinium cardinale

Silver Puffs

Uropappus lindleyi

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Soap Plant

Chloroglaum pomeridianum

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Southern Bush Monkeyflower

Diplacus longiflorus

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Southern California Black Walnut

Juglans californica

Drawing of plant with spotted flowers

Spotted Humboldt’s Lily

Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum

Sunflower

Helianthus annuus

Threadleaf Ragwort

Senecio flaccidus

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Toyon

Heteromeles arbutifolia

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Western Columbine

Aquilegia formosa

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Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum

Wild Heliotrope