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Quercus laceyi (Lacey oak)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Quercus laceyi

Quercus laceyi Small

Lacey oak, Texas blue oak, Canyon oak, Smoky oak, Rock oak

Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Synonym(s): Quercus glaucoides

USDA Symbol: QULA

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Lacey oak is a medium-sized tree on good sites or a shrub on poor sites. Branches are erect and spreading and there can be multiple trunks. Leaves are deciduous, thick and oblong with a few shallow lobes. Foliage is peach-colored in spring and fall; dark-blue or grayish-green in summer. Summer foliage takes on a smokey appearance.

A small to medium tree, which grows up to 60 feet (18.3 mm). BARK: light gray with shallow furrows and scaly ridges. TWIGS and BUDS: young twigs are gray and pubescent, mature limbs become smooth and reddish-brown; smooth, brown ovoid buds. LEAVES: petiole varies from 1⁄8 - 1⁄2 inch (3 - 13 mm) long; leaf blade is obovate or elliptical, 1 1⁄2 - 3 1⁄2 inches (38 - 89 mm) long, 1 1⁄8 - 2 1⁄2 inches (29 - 63 mm) wide, margin of the leaf is entire or with shallow lobes, trees growing on moist sites may have leaves with deep lobes that resemble white oak (Q. alba), secondary veins often end in a tooth, apex rounded; smooth, green above, juvenile leaves have a white pubescence beneath, mature leaves become smooth beneath.

Named for Howard Lacey, who first collected specimens on his property near Kerrville, Texas. Lacey oak is increasingly popular in central Texas as an oak wilt-resistant alternative to or replacement for the commonly used but oak wilt-prone Escarpment Live Oak (Quercus fusiformis) and local red oaks (Quercus buckleyi, Quercus texana, and Quercus shumardii). It also provides habitat for wildlife and is sometimes used for fuel. The largest known Lacey oak grows in Blanco County, Texas.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Lobed
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Inflorescence: Catkin
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Small to medium tree, which grows up to 60 feet (18.3 mm).
Leaf: Leaves green above, juvenile leaves have a white pubescence beneath, mature leaves become smooth beneath.
Fruit: Acorns annual; 1 - 3 acorns on a short peduncle up to 3⁄8 inch (10 mm) in length, saucer- shaped cup with pubescent scales, covers up to 1⁄3 of the nut; oblong or barrel-shaped nut, usually blunt at both ends, up to 3⁄4 inch (19 mm) long.
Size Class: 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May

Distribution

USA: TX
Native Distribution: Restricted to southern and southwestern parts of the Edwards Plateau in Texas and in the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.
Native Habitat: Often found associated with limestone outcrops, woodland, and riparian zones with mixed stands of ash, basswood and other oaks, a component of the pine-juniper-madrone-oak forest type of northern Mexico at elevations between 6,000 - 8,200 feet (1,830 - 2,500 m).

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Limestone or rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Laceys oak is a medium-sized tree on good sites or a shrub on poor sites. Branches are erect and spreading and there can be multiple trunks. Leaves are deciduous, thick and oblong with a few shallow lobes. Foliage is peach-colored in spring and fall; dark-blue or grayish-green in summer. Summer foliage takes on a smokey appearance.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Provides food and cover for deer, small mammals, and birds.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: No

Propagation

Description: 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: yes

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Wrights Nursery - Briggs, TX
Hill Country Natives - Leander, TX
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Bibliography

Bibref 1134 - Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America (2003) Stein, John D. and Denise Binion
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Quercus laceyi in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Quercus laceyi in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Quercus laceyi

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2012-07-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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