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Gambel's Oak

Quercus gambelii

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Tree, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Moderate-high
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Wind
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
20-30' (a tree in arizona was reported to be 114' tall) × 10-30'
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season April-June
Flower Color Inconspicuous, red or green
Minimum Temperature Range -40 °F
Leaf Description Lightly hairy, with 2-4 deep lobes
Fruit Acorns
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Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 4000-10000 ft.
Ethnobotany The nuts were used as food, as ceremonial emetics, as an analgesic for pain, as a crude Viagra. It was ground into meal, eaten raw, stored, boiled, made into mush and flour. The wood was used as fuelwood, for furniture, other building materials, toys, ceremonial items, and other household implements.
Description Found at high elevations and in cool microclimates throughout much of the state. Gambel's oak has deeply lobed leaves and acorns which dry a dark chestnut brown. This is a plant most appropriate for gardens in places like Flagstaff, Sedona, Pinetop etc. Often somewhat shrubby in habitat, these plants can get quite large with water, ultimately forming a stately, deciduous, shade tree. Gambel's oak has the ability to spread via spreading stems just under the ground surface, so this plant can also be thicket-forming, an important factor to keep in mind when considering spacing. Plant with junipers (Juniperus spp.), pines (Pinus spp.), and ashes (Fraxinus spp.) for a lush woodland effect.