Great Design Plant: Valley Oak
Botanical name: Quercus lobata Common name: Valley oak USDA zones: 7-9 Water requirement: Moderate Sun requirement: Full sun Mature size: 70’ h x 70’ spread Tolerances: Resists sudden oak death Distinguishing traits: This can be a massive tree, big all over, with thick trunk and heavy, often twisty branches. Deciduous leaves are big and deeply lobed, not colorful in fall. How to use it: Build a patio or deck around an existing tree. On a big lot or ranch, plant one as a shade tree; it can grow as fast as 40 feet in 10 years. Before you plant it: For a valley oak to thrive and grow large, it needs deep rich soil and an underground water supply – sprinklers alone aren’t going to do the job. Don’t grow lawn under an existing old tree, but you can plant a young tree in a lawn. The tree creates a mess with fallen leaves, limbs, and acorns.