Garry Oak


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British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Garry.Jpg

GARRY OAK
quercus garryana
  • The Garry Oak is also known as Oregon White Oak, Garry's Oak, Post Oak, White Oak
  • According to legend, carrying an acorn from the Garry Oak would help preserve a youthful appearance
  • Oaks were sacred to the god of thunder
  • The Garry Oak was named for Nicholas Garry of the Hudson's Bay Company
  • The Latin for oak is 'quercus'

UNIQUE FEATURES:

  • The Garry Oak is the only native oak in British Columbia
  • The Garry Oak is slow growing
  • Leaves turn brown in the fall so are not particularly colourful like other oaks
  • Many birds, small mammals and insects use the oak as their home

LOCATION:

  • The Garry Oak is found on southeastern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands
  • The Garry Oak grows in isolated areas in the lower Fraser Valley
  • in open parkland and meadows

SIZE:

  • The Garry Oak grows up to 20 metres in height

FRUIT:

  • small (3 cm long), sweetish acorns with a shallow, scaly cup

LEAVES:

  • glossy, bright green on the upper side
  • the under side has red to yellow hairs and is paler in colour
  • 5 to 7 deep lobes
  • gall wasps often cause bumps on the leaves

BARK:

  • thin, greyish-black
  • scaly with shallow grooves and broad ridges

WOOD CHARACTERISTICS:

  • beautiful grain, difficult to season without warping

USES:

  • traditional - wood: combs, digging sticks, fuel; acorns: roasted or steamed for food

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Garry Oak