Tips on collecting Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)?

BrianBay9

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I have recently moved (again), but this time within the same climate zone. I find myself in Monterey County, California, a little north of the city of Monterey. Great location! I'm really stoked that I found a job that lets me make a living here.

It looks like I have the opportunity to collect many coast live oak (Q. agrifolia). I realize it's past time for collecting this year, but I was hoping some of you ( @PaulH ?) may be able to provide some collecting tips for this species?

Brian
 

BrianBay9

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I thought I'd seen some tips from PaulH before - finally found them in a previous oak collecting thread....

"I've collected both Coast Live Oak and Interior Live Oak. These are the easiest to collect successfully. Other California species are much more difficult. I've learned that you will get a much better survival rate if you completely defoliate the tree when collecting. Both species bud back very vigorously so I'm mainly looking for a good trunk when choosing a tree to collect. Larger trees (3" - 8" dia. at the base) have more stored energy than saplings and of course can become bonsai sooner. Small feeder roots near the base are what you want, if they're not present don't dig the tree. If you have feeder roots you flat cut the tap root leaving only the small roots. Plant in a good draining soil, I use straight pumice and keep moist. It'd also important to keep the trunk humid. I often cover them in a clear trash bag and keep them shaded until they bud. " PaulH

Thanks Paul.

Anyone else with some experience collecting Q agrifolia?
 

John P.

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No, but I’m in Laguna Beach, CA, and there are lots around here, too. Interested in hearing more experiences!
 

yenling83

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Hey @BrianBay9
I'm not too far away from you, down in San Luis Obispo County. I'd agree with Paul, they are relatively easy to collect. I'd recommend collecting in late winter/early spring as or right before bud swell. Get as many roots as possible, plant in a nice tight box w/ sifted pumice, place on the ground, good balance of water and oxygen and you'll have a high success rate. I'm sure you could get a way with other time periods to collect, but I think the best time is right before buds swell. Hope to see some pics in the future.
 

BrianBay9

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Hey @BrianBay9
I'm not too far away from you, down in San Luis Obispo County. I'd agree with Paul, they are relatively easy to collect. I'd recommend collecting in late winter/early spring as or right before bud swell. Get as many roots as possible, plant in a nice tight box w/ sifted pumice, place on the ground, good balance of water and oxygen and you'll have a high success rate. I'm sure you could get a way with other time periods to collect, but I think the best time is right before buds swell. Hope to see some pics in the future.

Thanks yenling. I've got several picked out for next winter. I've found a great spot I think, but you'd sure better know what poison oak looks like. And at least at this time of year keep checking for ticks if you get into the weeds. I spent maybe 2 minutes in knee high grass and picked off 17 ticks.

For those of you who don't know what a mature coast live oak can look like, I've attached a few pics from nearby.
 

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John P.

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Nice. Here are some in Laguna Canyon (SR 133) taken while driving (passenger seat, of course):
A2F64989-50A9-483B-A027-89F440297837.jpeg5141EC95-316A-4129-B33D-280F4CB575B5.jpegCCBDB53F-C934-45DA-8E08-33529C76F248.jpeg
 

BrianBay9

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Nice. Looks like you're about an hour south of me and maybe a bit more inland. The Spanish moss on the trees in some of my pics is a sure give away that I'm still in the coastal fog zone.
 

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