QUERCUS GARRYANA, the GARRY OAK, OREGON WHITE OAK, OREGON OAK, or
HU\'DSHNAM, from the traditional Klamath language, is a tree species
with a range stretching from southern
California to southwestern
British Columbia . It grows from sea level to 210 meters (690 ft)
altitude in the northern part of its range, and at 300 to 1,800 meters
(980 to 5,910 ft) in the south of the range in California. The tree
gets one of its names from Nicholas Garry , deputy governor of the
Hudson\'s Bay Company , 1822–35.
* 1 Range
* 2 Varieties
* 3 Growth characteristics
* 4 Natural History
* 5 Uses
* 6 Conservation
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links
British Columbia , the Garry oak grows on the
Gulf Islands and
Vancouver Island , from west of Victoria along the east
side of the island up to the Campbell River area. There are also small
populations along the
Fraser River on the
British Columbia mainland.
The northernmost population of Garry oak can be found just below 50°N
Savary Island , in the northern stretches of the Straight of
In Washington state , the garry oak grows on the west side of the
Cascade Range , particularly in the Puget Sound lowlands, the
Olympic Peninsula , Whidbey Island and the San Juan
Islands . It also grows in the foothills of the southeastern Cascades
and along the
Columbia River Gorge .
In Oregon, the Garry oak grows on the west side of the Cascade Range,
primarily in the Willamette , Umpqua and Rogue River valleys, and
along the Columbia River Gorge.
In California, the garryana variety grows in the foothills of the
Klamath Mountains , the Coast Ranges of Northern
California, and of the west slope of the Cascades. The semota variety
grows in the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges as far south as Los
Angeles County .
There are three varieties :
Quercus garryana var. garryana – tree to 20 (30) m. British
Columbia south along the Cascades to the
California Coast Ranges.
Quercus garryana var. breweri – shrub to 5 m; leaves velvety
underneath. Siskiyou Mountains.
Quercus garryana var. semota – shrub to 5 m; leaves not velvety
underneath. Sierra Nevada.
As the fruit matures, the involucre hardens and becomes a
shallow receptacle that contains an acorn.
It is a drought-tolerant tree , typically of medium height, growing
slowly to around 20 m (occasionally as high as 30 m) or as a shrub to
3 to 5 meters (9.8 to 16.4 ft) tall. It has the characteristic oval
profile of other oaks when solitary, but is also known to grow in
groves close enough together that crowns may form a canopy. The leaves
are deciduous , 5–15 cm long and 2–8 cm broad, with 3-7 deep lobes
on each side. The flowers are catkins , the fruit a small acorn 2–3
cm (rarely 4 cm) long and 1.5–2 cm broad, with shallow, scaly cups.
Oregon white oak is commonly found in the Willamette Valley
hosting the mistletoe
Phoradendron flavescens . It is also commonly
found hosting galls created by wasps in the family Cynipidae. 'Oak
apples ', green or yellow ball of up to 5 cm in size, are the most
spectacular. They are attached to the undersides of leaves. One
common species responsible for these galls is Cynips maculipennis.
Other species create galls on stems and leaves. Shapes vary from
spheres to mushroom-shaped to pencil-shaped. Garry oak leaves
In British Columbia, the Garry oak can be infested by three nonnative
insects: the jumping gall wasp
Neuroterus saltatorius, the oak leaf
phylloxeran, and the gypsy moth .
While the invasive plant disease commonly called Sudden
attacks other Pacific Coast native oaks, it has not yet been found on
the Garry oak. Most oak hosts of this disease are in the red oak
group, while Garry oak is in the white oak group.
Garry oak is the only native oak species in British Columbia,
Washington, and northern Oregon. In these areas, Garry oak woodlands
are seral, or early-successional – they depend on disturbance to
avoid being overtaken by
Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). The
disturbance allowing Garry oak to persist in an area that would
otherwise succeed to coniferous forest was primarily fire. Natural
wildfires are relatively common in the drier portions of the Pacific
Northwest where Garry oak is found, but fire suppression has made such
events much less common. In addition, early settlers' records, soil
surveys, and tribal histories indicate that deliberate burning was
widely practiced by the indigenous people of these areas. Fire
perpetuated the grasslands that produced food sources such as camas,
chocolate lily, bracken fern, and oak; and that provided grazing and
easy hunting for deer and elk. Mature Garry oaks are fire-resistant,
and so would not be severely harmed by grass fires of low intensity.
Such fires prevented
Douglas-fir and most other conifer seedlings from
becoming established, allowing bunch grass prairie and Garry oak
woodland to persist. Fire also kept oak woodlands on drier soils free
of a shrub understory. Wetter oak woodlands historically had a
substantial shrub understory, primarily snowberry. Gall on Garry
oak, Sonoma County
Garry oak woodlands in
British Columbia and Washington are critical
habitats for a number of species that are rare or extirpated in these
areas, plant, animal, and bryophyte:
* Propertius duskywing butterfly
Erynnis propertius , sole larval
food plant is oak
Bucculatrix zophopasta leaf-mining moth, sole larval food plant is
* Lewis woodpecker
* Slender billed nuthatch
Sitta carolinensis aculeata
* Sharp tailed snake
* Western gray squirrel
* Western tanager
* Western wood peewee
* Western bluebird
* Sessile trillium
* Banded cord-moss Entosthodon fascicularis
* Apple moss Bartramia stricta
* (liverwort) Riccia ciliata
A Garry oak grove
Garry oak woodlands create a landscape mosaic of grassland, savanna,
woodland, and closed-canopy forest. This mosaic of varied habitats, in
turn, allows many more species to live in this area than would be
possible in coniferous forest alone. Parks Canada states that Garry
oak woodlands support more species of plants than any other
terrestrial ecosystem in British Columbia. It grows in a variety of
soil types, for instance, rocky outcrops, glacial gravelly outwash,
deep grassland soils, and seasonally flooded riparian areas.
The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 encouraged Anglo settlement of
Washington and Oregon, and marked the beginning of the end of regular
burning by Indians of the area (Perdue IN Dunn and Ewing). The
arrival of Europeans also reduced the number of natural fires that
took place in Garry oak habitat. With fire suppression and conversion
to agriculture, Garry oak woodlands and bunch grass prairies were
invaded by Douglas-fir,
Oregon ash (
Fraxinus latifolia ), and imported
pasture grasses. Oaks were logged to clear land for pasture, and for
firewood and fence posts. Livestock grazing trampled and consumed oak
seedlings. By the 1990s, more than half the Garry oak woodland habitat
in the South Puget Sound area of Washington was gone. On Vancouver
Island, more than 90% was gone. Remaining Garry oak woodlands are
threatened by urbanization, conversion to
Douglas-fir woodland, and
invasion by shrubs, both native and nonnative (Scotch broom Cytisus
scoparius, sweetbriar rose Rosa eglanteria, snowberry Symphoricarpos
albus, Indian plum Oemleria cerasiformis, poison-oak Toxicodendron
diversilobum, English holly Ilex aquifolium, bird cherry Prunus
avens). Conversely, oak groves in wetter areas that historically had
closed canopies of large trees are becoming crowded with young oaks
that grow thin and spindly, due to lack of fires that would clear out
Chionodes petalumensis caterpillars feed on oak leaves, including
those of the Garry oak (Quercus garryana) and valley oak (Q. lobata).
Although the wood has a beautiful grain, it is difficult to season
without warping, and therefore the Garry oak has not historically been
regarded as having any commercial value and is frequently destroyed as
land is cleared for development. Recently the wood , which is similar
to that of other white oaks , has been used experimentally in Oregon
for creating casks in which to age wine. When used as firewood, garry
oak produces 28 million BTUs per cord burned.
Garry oaks and their ecosystems are the focus of conservation
efforts, including communities such as
Tacoma, Washington , where an
Tree Park has been established;
British Columbia , which
is named after the tree; and Corvallis,
Washington , named after the tree and home to Smith Park that contains
a dense grove of mature Garry
Oak trees, is actively pursuing
conservation of the city's namesake tree with the formation of the Oak
In southwest Washington, significant acreages of Garry oaks are
preserved in the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area, in sites such as the
Scatter Creek Unit , which contain some of the few remaining areas of
south Puget Sound prairie.
Oak Bay, British Columbia, a fine of up to $10,000 may be issued
for each Garry oak tree cut or damaged.
* Trees portal
* Media related to
Quercus garryana (category) at Wikimedia Commons
* ^ The
Quercus garryana Douglas ex Hook.
* ^ A B C "GOERT". Garry
Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team. Retrieved 3
* ^ "Sand Dune Ecosystems on Savary Island, B.C" (PDF). Savary
Island Land Trust. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
* ^ A B "Burke Herbarium". University of Washington. Retrieved 3
* ^ A B C Franklin and Dyrness (1988). Natural Vegetation of Oregon
and Washington. Corvallis, Oregon:
Oregon State University Press. ISBN
* ^ A B "USDA PLANTS Database". United States Department of
Agriculture. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
* ^ Haggard, Peter and Judy (2006). Insects of the Pacific
Northwest. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. ISBN 978-0-88192-689-7 .
* ^ APHIS. "Phytophthora ramorum host list". USDA. Retrieved 6
* ^ A B C D E F Dunn and Ewing (1997). Ecology and Conservation of
the South Puget Sound Landscape. Seattle: The Nature Conservancy.
* ^ A B C Lea; Miles; McIntosh (2006). "Garry
Recovery Team Colloquium" (PDF).
* ^ Parks Canada. "Garry
Oak Ecosystems". Retrieved 7 February
* ^ Tatum, J. B. Chionodes petalumensis. Butterflies and Moths of
Southern Vancouver Island. 2007.
* ^ C. petalumensis: Host plants. Natural History Museum, London.
* ^ "What is the best firewood to burn". Firewoodresource.
Retrieved 14 October 2012.
* ^ Barnes, Marc (November 2003). "Bald Hill