The tan-oak, reviled for years as a “junk tree” disliked by the timber industry, is now largely extinct in Marin County and some of Sonoma. To the Pomo, it was known as “the beautiful tree” and valued for its acorns, favored above all other kinds. Let’s stop the disaffection.
I would like to enter our jay-planted oak, now about 15 years old. Inconsistent with my constant iteration to my customers, clients, and friends to keep forest trees away from homes, it is much too near our rental cottage, called The Quail House, where it hospitably allows roosting quail to spend the night. The way it frames the hip roof is friendly and beautiful, though sadly, not something that can go on forever.
From inside the Quail house, it displays silvered limbs and trunk and rich green leaves at every window of the northwest facing wall (there are three). It absorbs the northwest winds, sucks them up with its naturally rounded form and dense crispy foliage. Also, the redwood siding on that shaded, protected side of the house displays rich color still, while the other sides of the house, which is always cool, have been bleached by the sun.
I submit that this tree has the most graceful form, the healthiest foliage, and the strongest, cleanest claim to vigor and the life force of any I know. Every spring, numerous seedlings, its offspring, appear, and I have selected one to someday take the place of its parent, situated in a more advantageous distance from the Quail House.
Please submit pictures of YOUR oak tree . The winner will receive one 4” pot of peppermint candy flower (Claytonia sibirica), one 4” pot of Pt Reyes checkerbloom (Sidalcea calycosa rhizomata), and one 4” pot of meadow rue (Thalictrum polycarpum). We have found that all these species do well under oaks, requiring no summer water and blooming freely
These must be “home yard” oaks, that live with people. Contest ends May 15, 2010