Canyon oak (Quercus chrysolepis)

I like oaks. The first entry of this blog on January 1, 2019 was about my developing Quercus agrifolia. Today’s entry is for another California oak, the canyon oak, Quercus chrysolepis. I purchased this oak from the Lily Rock Nursery in Idyllwild, California on September 11, 2016.

June 9, 2019:
The tree today.

September 18, 2016:
The tree a few days after purchase.

January 7, 2017:
The tree several months after purchase.

January 7, 2017:
The first trunk chop.

January 7, 2017:
Initial wiring.

February 4, 2017:
First repotting.

February 4, 2017:
Bare-rooted.

Root-pruned. Oaks are particularly sensitive to root work. If I did this again with an oak at this stage I might leave more roots.

February 4, 2017:
The bare-rooted tree in its new pot.

February 4, 2017:
Frequent watering will be critical while the tree establishes new roots. I generally water at least once a day in summer but tried to water more frequently in this case.

April 21, 2017:
New growth a month and a half after repotting. The tree made it through this critical period.

April 23, 2017:
New growth is an iridescent golden-bronze.

May 6, 2017:
Removed the thick forking trunks from the top of the tree and created a new leader.

May 20, 2017:
My wiring is not “show-quality”. I reuse wire, and often leave the ends of wire uncut so I can use the full length again on a future tree. I may begin rethinking this approach.

July 20, 2017:
The tree on the benches during its first summer after purchase.

December 20, 2017:
The tree with unpruned branches to thicken them at the base. The acorns are Quercus chrysolepis collected during a trip to local San Diego County mountains. See their current status later in this post.

February 3, 2018:
Long branches pruned, with the leader and other main branches rewired.

April 21, 2018:
Spring growth. I decided to leave the new sprouts at the base of the tree to thicken the nebari and lower trunk.

May 26, 2018:
Opposite side of the tree in late spring. The main trunk has a long, boring, straight stretch before it gets interesting movement.

June 16, 2018:
Removal of most of the main trunk to eliminate the straight section. This shortened the tree considerably and altered my plans for it.

July 30, 2018:
Wired up a new leader from what had been a secondary branch from the main trunk.

August 4, 2018:
Summer growth.

September 22, 2018:
Tentative front of tree. Most smaller side branches are left on to thicken the trunk but will eventually be pruned off.

March 30, 2019:
Right side.

April 27, 2018:
Left side.

June 9, 2019:
Back of the tree, today.

June 9, 2019:
Canyon oak seedlings from the acorns shown with the tree on December 20, 2017 entry of this post.

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