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Flaigg, Norman G.
Quercus gambelii Nutt.
Gambel oak, Rocky Mountain white oak
USDA Symbol: QUGA
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A small, round-crowned tree or clump shrub, sometimes forming thickets, Gambels oak occasionally reaches 50 ft. but is usually no taller than 30 ft. Its deeply-lobed, deciduous leaves are bright green above and paler below, turning brown or sometimes red in fall. Tree with rounded crown, often in dense groves; or a thicket-forming shrub.
Gambels Oak is the common oak of the Rocky Mountains, abundant in Grand Canyon National Park. It is closely related to White Oak (Quercus alba L.) of the eastern United States. The foliage is browsed by deer and sometimes by livestock. Wild turkeys, squirrels, and other wildlife, as well as hogs and other domestic animals eat the sweetish acorns. The wood is used mainly for fenceposts and fuel. This species is named for William Gambel (1821-49), a naturalist from Philadelphia.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AZ , CO , NM , NV , OK , SD , TX , UT , WY Native Distribution:
Mts. from Carbon Co., WY & CO to s. NV, s. to Trans-Pecos TX & n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry, high-elevation hills, slopes & canyons USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Cold Tolerant:
Rocky soils. Acid-based, Calcareous, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam
Clay Conditions Comments:
Train as a tree
by pruning off suckers when young. Very slow growing.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Attractive
Use Wildlife: Provides food and cover for deer, small mammals, and birds. Browse, Cover, Nesting site, Substrate-insectivorous birds, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Oaks are most often propagated from seed. No pretreatment is necessary. Plant immediately – outdoors or in deep containers to accomodate long initial taproot. Many oaks require cold temperatures to initiate shoot
development. Protect outdoor beds with Seed Collection:
Best quality acorns are picked or shaken from the tree. Collect when color has changed to brown. Best if sown immediately as acorns lose viability quickly in storage. Short-term storage in moist, shaded saw dust or sand. Acorns to be sown immediately can be soaked in hot water for 15 min. to prevent weevil infestation. Stored seed should be fumigated with methyl bromide. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
Prevent complete soil dryness, May be pruned 12 mo. out of the year, Prune to maintain shape, Fertilize 3 times a year with lawn fertilizer 3:1:2 ratio
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
March 20, 2009
I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite.
Do you have suggestio...
view the full question and answer
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Record Modified: 2011-03-09
Research By: TWC Staff