Oracle oak (Quercus x morehus)

Some oak species in California frequently hybridize with another species of oak. In this example, an oak with the common name “Oracle oak” (Quercus x morehus), is a naturally-occurring hybrid between an interior live oak (Quercus wislizeni) and a California black oak (Quercus kelloggii). It keeps its leaves longer into the winter than its deciduous black oak parent, but looses them by spring, unlike a live oak. The leaves have spiny lobe tips similar to black oaks.

I bought this tree at the Idyllwild nursery in Idyllwild, California in July, 2014.

July 5, 2019: The tree two days ago.

July 28, 2014: The tree a day after purchase.

November 29, 2014: The tree at the end of the growing season.

November 30, 2014: First trunk chop.

February 1, 2015: Branch-pruned.

February 7, 2015: First wiring.

February 28, 2015: Bare-rooted for repotting, leaf buds beginning to open.

March 7, 2015: Leafing-out.

April 25, 2015: More new growth.

May 16, 2015: Practicing with raffia.

December 23, 2015: The tree the second winter after purchase. I should have cut the top branches back to the first bud at this point and concentrated on developing thickness in the first bottom branch.

January 30, 2016: The upper branches are too thick compared to the first branch. I was worried that removing too much of the existing branch structure would jeopardize the health of the tree.

March 24, 2016: Spring growth.

September 16, 2016: Late in the third growing season after purchase.

December 30, 2016: I pruned the largest branch back to slow its growth.

February 4, 2017: Bare-rooted for repotting.

February 4, 2017: Hard root-pruning.

February 4, 2017: The tree re-potted.

March 27, 2017: Spring growth.

August 19, 2017: Sacrifice secondary branches to thicken first branch.

December 16, 2017: End of the fourth growing season.

February 3, 2018: Sacrifice branches removed. The second branch on the right was still too large. Most of the secondary branches on this major branch should have been pruned back at this time or earlier.

May 26, 2018: The second branch (left side from this angle) still needed to be pruned back more than I did here.

July 4, 2018: More branch pruning about a month later, one year ago.

August 4, 2018: The tree remains top-heavy.

January 1, 2019: The tree with the large second branch located on the left.

April 9, 2019: Spring growth earlier this year.

June 29, 2019: Pruned.

July 4, 2019: The tree in the garden three days ago.

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