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Quercus (agrifolia)

Betty Young
Nurseries Sr Manager
Bldg 201, Fort Mason
San Francisco, California 94123
415-331-7521 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Fagaceae
Family Common Name: Oak Family
Scientific Name: Quercus agrifolia Nee
Common Name: California Live oak
Species Code: QUEAGR
Ecotype: Marin County, California
General Distribution: Q. agrifolia is commonly found in valleys and slopes below 3,000 feet elevation; from coast ranges from Sonoma County to San Diego County to Lower California.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: Deepot 40
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: Height: N/A<br> Caliper: N/A<br> Root System: Firm plug in container.
Propagule Collection: Acorns are collected between September 1st and December 15th.
Mature acorns are brown.
Collect acorns as soon as base of acorn around the cup turns brown.
Propagule Processing: Seed Cleaning: Float fresh acorns overnight in fresh water. Remove floaters.
Seed Storage: Acorns are refrigerated and kept moist.
Seeds/gram: 2
Pre-Planting Treatments: Soak clean acorns overnight in fresh water. Drain and rinse in a 5% bleach solution for 1 minute. Rinse. Place seeds in a plastic freezer bag with an equal amount of dry perlite. Keep in refrigerator at 15C. Check for germination after 1 month. Sow germinants with 1/4 inch or longer radicles.
Check weekly until all have sprouted.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Sowing Method: Direct Sowing Germinants.
Plant acorns 0.5 times the diameter of seed to depth and are laid on media sideways. Do not cover with media.
Germinating acorns are sown in 2"x10" containers (Deepot 40) containing standard potting mix of peat moss, fir bark, perlite, and sand.
Keep media around acorns evenly moist. Do not let media dry out.
Containers are watered with an automatic irrigation system.
Place containers in protective cages to protect from birds and rodents.
% Germination: 90%
Establishment Phase: The plumule and leaves do not emerge for 1 to 2 months.
Length of Establishment Phase: 2 months
Active Growth Phase: Fertilize with Nutricote NPK (13-13-13) 3 months after sowing.
If additional fertilization is needed, use a liquid fertilizer (Plantex NPK) 1:100 ratio through Dosmatic injector for 1 month or more.
Other Comments: If oak seedlings are kept longer than one year, they need to be potted up into Treeband containers.
References: A California Flora and Supplement, Munz, P., University of California Press, Berkeley and London, 1973.


Young, Betty. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Quercus agrifolia Nee plants Deepot 40; San Francisco, California. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/09/30). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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