Quercus kelloggii

Black Oak

Plant Type: Tree
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 50' X 30'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



The black oak is one of California’s most widespread species. It thrives in mountainous regions throughout the state. Its range extends into Oregon and northern Baja, Mexico. It is one of the nine species found in Santa Clara County. Black oak grows in an upright, vase shape, though with room to grow it can become rounded, somewhat like a valley oak, Quercus lobata. It is quite similar to a valley oak in several ways, and young trees can be hard to tell apart. The leaves of the black oak tend to be shiny, and the mature leaves have small teeth on the tip of the lobes. The valley oak has duller leaves, and no teeth on the lobes. The black oak is arguably our most beautiful oak species. The straight trunk and upright structure lend the tree a stately appearance. The bark of older trees develops a dark hue. After winter dormancy, the leaves emerge in various shades of magenta then mature to a shiny dark green. The acorns are quite large, and can cover the ground under a mature tree in a good year. In fall the leaves progress from green to yellow, orange and red before dropping. Black oak is quite adaptable in the landscape. Perhaps the only drawbacks are the space requirements and a slow growth rate.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous