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Oregon Oak · Quercus garryana
Description: deciduous broadleaved tree (40-80 ft.) with majestic crown and lobed leaves. The leaves (protein-rich) as well as the acorns provide food for many creatures. Willamette Valley native; grows in dry foothills west of the Cascade Mounbtains. Sun, low water, well-drained soil.
In November of 1805 William Clark described the native habitat just north of present-day Portland: "here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Speicies of undergroth . . . a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the riverbank." The explorers collected specimens of Oregon oak in March of 1806 along the Columbia River near what is now Clatskanie, Oregon. Lewis wrote in his journal "after dinner we proceeded on and passed an Elegant and extensive bottom on the South side . . . the greater part of the bottom is a high dry prarie. near the river towards the upper point we saw a fine grove of whiteoak trees."