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Plant Focus

Quercus macdougallii
A rare oak endemic to the Sierra Juárez in Oaxaca

Quercus garryana in Vancouver

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Douglas Justice

Published May 2020 in International Oaks No. 31: 37–48


The distributional range of Quercus garryana, its naming, botanical features, and geographical variants are briefly described. A short discussion of the historical utilization of Garry oak as a timber species, its habitats and ecology, including a listing of common pests and diseases is presented. The prominence of cultivated and wild stands of Garry oak, as well as the significant historical role of Garry oak acorns as an aboriginal food plant and trade item, and the relationship between historical meadow management, biodiversity, and conservation in Garry oak ecosystems is examined.


biodiversity, ecology, First Nations, conservation, gardens


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Douglas, G.W., Meidinger, D.V., and Pojar, J. eds.1999. Quercus garryana. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Government of British Columbia, Victoria 

Douglas, D. 1914. Douglas’ Journal: Journal kept by David Douglas during his travels in North America, 1823-1827. Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). London: William Wesley & Son.

Gucker, C.L. 2007. Quercus garryana. In Fire Effects Information System, produced by United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/quegar/all.html

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Moerman, D.E. 1998. Native American Ethnobotany. Portland: Timber Press.

Nixon, K.C. 1997. Quercus garryana. In Flora of North America Vol. 3. http://www.efloras.org; retrieved 2 December 2019. 

Pavlik, B.M., P.C. Muick, S.G. Johnson, and M. Popper. 1991. Oaks of California. Los Olivos, CA:  Cachuma Press, Inc.

Peattie, D.C. A Natural History of Western Trees. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press. 

Stein, W.I. 1990. Quercus garryana. In Silvics of North America: Volume 2. Hardwoods, Agriculture Handbook 654, coordinated by R.M. Burns, and B.H. Honkala. Washington DC: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/1548

Sudworth, G.B. 1908. Forest Trees of the Pacific Slope. Washington DC: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Turner, N.J. 1995. Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples. Royal British Columbia Museum Handbook. Vancouver: UBC Press.