Oakie – Doakie!

FEATURED NATIVE TREE: Central California OAK/Quercus

photos and text by Marisa Folse

TREE TWO: This week features not just any Oak tree but Interior Live or Valley Oaks. TREE TWO DATES: Post Selfie Pics March 9-10 or April 8th to 15th.

WIN $200: Take a selfie with featured tree during above-noted 2 days of Arbor Week or week of April Tree Hunt. Then post it using @guardiansaroundtheearth on Instagram or #OpenYourGATE on Facebook. Post all 4 featured trees (and follow our FB page) to enter raffle on April 30th – Arbor Day.


  • Eight different Oak Tree species natively grow in Kern County environment of the 20 native to California. Most Oak Trees look similar, some are shrubby like Interior Live Oak and some are majestic like Valley Oak. Leaves, bark, and acorns are different by species. 80% of native Oak woodland in California is privately owned.
  • Oak Trees filter water. A large oak may give off 100 gallons of water a day. A tree takes in twice as much as it evaporates through its leaves. Evaporated tree water eventually forms clean water clouds, then rain, and this cycle renews.
  • All Oak Trees require personal space or physical distancing. Recent Covid-19 experiences gave everyone more awareness of personal space needs for health. Naturally growing trees require more personal space than ones planted from pots. That means, in a natural setting, changes anywhere around a tree as far away as twice its height affect that tree’s health. For this reason, Oak’s biggest threat is residential and commercial development.
  • Some people can innately sense the vibe or aura of certain Oak trees. A few individuals can physically sense the outer boundary of a tree’s personal space. Intuitive children approaching wild trees may stop just outside a trees dripline, sensing some indescribable barrier. Can you sense anything?
  • Most wildfires start by human actions. Luckily, two of California’s Oak Tree types are fire tolerant. Since wildfires occur annually, this makes sense. Blue Oak (Q. douglasii) tolerates grass fires and Englemann Oak tolerates hot forest fires.
Chicken-of-the-woods Mushroom on Black Oak Tree

California’s Oak Woodland Species

  • Blue Oak (Quercus douglasii)
  • California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii)
  • Canyon Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis)
  • Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)
  • Engelmann Oak (Quercus engelmannii)
  • Interior Live Oak (Quecus wislizeni) – This evergreen prefers hills, mountains and streams.
  • Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana)
  • Valley Oak (Quercus lobata) – This largest Oak in California can grow over 100 feet and live about 300 years.
Woodpecker damaged Oak


  • Edible acorns, BUT major prep getting bitter, somewhat toxic, tannins out of them.
  • Bark and water solution can tan leather.
  • Oak bark has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Young branches or branch strips weave into baskets, mats, blinds and other items.

Learn More About It:

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