There are many types of oak in California. Coast Live Oak is commonly found in coastal ranges and foothills, from central to southern California. It is also found in north Baja California and on the Channel Islands Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa. It is an evergreen, drought resistant tree that grows at a reasonable rate, and looks attractive year round. The tree is a haven for all kinds of wildlife, particularly birds and butterflies. The acorns were eaten by Native Americans.
Coast Live Oak has separate male catkins and female flowers on the same tree, and which appear for a short period in spring. The acorns ripen and fall in winter. The dark green leaves are holly-like and have a distinctive fuzz on the underside.
Quercus agrifolia is the scientific name, where “quercus” is the Latin for oak, and “agrifolia” for the spiny leaves.
All of the photos were taken on More Mesa. The last row of pictures are of very young white-tailed kite chicks in an oak tree on More Mesa. The many White-tailed Kite that reside on More Mesa prefer oaks to other trees for nesting and roosting. For more information, please see the section on White-tailed Kite.