California Oaks

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I've recently relocated to SoCal and was wondering what everyone knows about the California Oak species as bonsai. Besides the Q. agrifolia, which species are good for bonsai? What are the timings for hard pruning, maintenance/trimming, and repotting? How much foliage and root reduction can they stand? Thanks!!
 

Dan92119

Mame
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I have the Coast live oak seedlings. For me they see to grow pretty slow. I like cork oaks, they get nice bark at a young age. I also grow English oaks. They are about 2 years old. The English oaks are deciduous. The other two keep leaves all year around.

The cork oak and coast live oak I only repot when they are starting to push new growth
 
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12
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Location
Southern California
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10
I have the Coast live oak seedlings. For me they see to grow pretty slow. I like cork oaks, they get nice bark at a young age. I also grow English oaks. They are about 2 years old. The English oaks are deciduous. The other two keep leaves all year around.

The cork oak and coast live oak I only repot when they are starting to push new growth
any experience in how englemann, valley, or scrub oaks behave?
 

BrianBay9

Masterpiece
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There are several posts here about California oaks. Do a search and you'll find a lot of info waiting for you. I'll sum up my experience......Coast live oak are the easiest to collect and work. Acorns reliably sprout. Scrub oak take longer than CLO to do everything. Valley oak are very easy about everything except cutting the tap root. Do it in stages if possible. Hard to find any of substantial size, but not hard to find starters in nurseries. Never had an Englemann.

Don't ignor Q suber. Not native but a popular species to work with.
 

rollwithak

Chumono
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Clovis, CA
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I've recently relocated to SoCal and was wondering what everyone knows about the California Oak species as bonsai. Besides the Q. agrifolia, which species are good for bonsai? What are the timings for hard pruning, maintenance/trimming, and repotting? How much foliage and root reduction can they stand? Thanks!!
 

Taste

Mame
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I’ve recently acquired and begun caring for this guy. California black oak. Finding it to be an early oak pusher with growth. Especially compared to my Oregon white oak.
As mentioned above coast oak are nice as well.
 

PaulH

Omono
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Interior live oak, Q. wislizenii, is great bonsai material, similar to coast live but with rough bark. Valley oaks are also good. Leather oak, Q. durata is a good subject with tiny leaves but hard to find good bonsayi subjects. Blue oak, Q. douglasii make beautiful bonsai but can be tricky in pot culture and collected trees are difficult because they tend to have very deep roots. Canyon live oaks. Q. chrysolepsis, are great for bonsai but not seen that often. Oregon oak, Q. garryana, grows in Cal. It is similar to valley oak. Oaks also hybridize frequently so sometimes very nice, unusual stuff can be found. There is a type of coast live found around Santa Cruz with very corky bark.
 
Messages
12
Reaction score
10
Location
Southern California
USDA Zone
10
There are several posts here about California oaks. Do a search and you'll find a lot of info waiting for you. I'll sum up my experience......Coast live oak are the easiest to collect and work. Acorns reliably sprout. Scrub oak take longer than CLO to do everything. Valley oak are very easy about everything except cutting the tap root. Do it in stages if possible. Hard to find any of substantial size, but not hard to find starters in nurseries. Never had an Englemann.

Don't ignor Q suber. Not native but a popular species to work with.
The one I was wondering most about was the Engelmann unfortunately, As I found one with very interesting leaves in a nursery, but thank you for the information!
 
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