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Home > Landscaping > Native Plants for Western Washington Gardens and Restoration Projects



Quercus garryana

Garry Oak

Flowering Period: Apr April
Flower color: green
Full sun Mostly sunny
Dry soil


At a Glance: Beautiful, deciduous, heavy limbed oak tree.

Height: Up to 82 feet (25 meters).
Growth Form: Tree.
Leaves: Alternate, deciduous, deeply round-lobed oak leaves to 12 cm long, shiny dark green above, greenish-yellow and brown-hairy below; turn dull yellow; size: 12 cm (4.75 in) long.
Flowers: Male and female flowers tiny, inconspicuous; borne in separate inflorescences on the same tree, male flowers in hanging catkins, female flowers single or in small clusters; flowers as the leaves appear.
Flowering Period: April.
Fruits: Acorns, 2-3 cm long, in shallow, rough-surfaced cups; sweet, tannic, edible.

Quercus garryana
Photo © Heidi Bohan
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Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
full sun > 80%
mostly sunny 60%-80%
partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
mostly shady 60%-80%
full shade > 80%

wet
moist
dry

Wetland Indicator Status:
FACU (facultative upland)
low elevation
mid elevation
sub-alpine
high elevation


Soil Preferences
sandy soils
gravelly soils
clay soils
muddy soils
peaty soils
well drained soils
shallow soils
deep soils
acidic soils
basic soils
humic soils
nutrient rich soils
nutrient poor soils
mineral soils
organic soils

Habitat Preferences
Aquatic and Wetland:
Ponds or lakes
Shallow pools
Sloughs
Swales or wet ditches
Seasonally inundated areas
Marshes or swamps
Aquatic bed wetlands
Emergent wetlands
Scrub-shrub wetlands
Forested wetlands
Bogs, fens
Seeps, springs
Shorelines and Riparian:
Lake shores
Bog margins
Streams or rivers
Stream or river banks
Riparian corridors
River bars
Floodplains
Bottomlands
Alluvial areas
Saltwater Areas:
In or near saltwater
Mud flats
Tidal areas
Estuaries
Saltmarshes
Brackish water
Seashores
Coastal dunes or beaches
Rocky or Gravelly Areas:
Coastal bluffs
Cliffs
Rocky slopes
Outcrops
Crevices
Glacial outwash
Gullies
Slide areas
Sub-alpine and Alpine:
Heaths
Snow beds
Tundra
Avalanche tracks
Forests and Thickets:
Forests and woods
Open forests
Coniferous forests
Old growth forests
Deciduous forests
Mixed forests
Nurse logs
Forest edges, openings, or clearings
Thickets
Meadows and Fields:
Pastures or fields
Meadows or grassy areas
Mossy areas
Disturbed Areas:
Roadsides
Trailsides
Logged sites
Burned areas
Disturbed sites

Wildlife Value
Berries
Seeds
Nectar for hummingbirds
Nectar for butterflies
Host for insect larvae
Thickets and shelter
Thorny or protective cover

Birds: Wood ducks, mallards, turkeys, band-tailed pigeons, quails, grouse, woodpeckers, nuthatches, thrushes, towhees, jays, and Clarks nutcrackers eat the acorns. Cavity nesting birds and other wildlife nest and roost in tree cavities.
Insects: Many insects are associated with oaks, certain butterfly larvae eat the leaves.
Mammals: Black bears, deer, muskrats, raccoons, tree squirrels, gophers, ground squirrels, and mice eat the acorns


Ethnobotanical Uses and Other Facts
Material Uses: The Cowlitz used Garry Oak wood to make combs and digging sticks, and burned it as a fuel.
Medicinal Uses: The Cowlitz boil the bark as a cure for tuberculosis.
Food Uses: Some native peoples used the acorns as food, but because of the lengthy tannin-leeching process, it was not relied on.


Suggested References



The landscaping and restoration information provided on this page is taken from the Starflower Foundation Image Herbarium. All photographs © Starflower Foundation unless otherwise noted.