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Old 09-09-2002, 10:33 AM
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Default Street Tree Oaks



Our neighborhood in San Jose is doing some streetscape planting and we would prefer to use oaks. Not that many oaks are suitable for streetscapes, but there must be a couple. Does anyone have any good recommendations or experiences? Thanks.</p>
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Old 09-12-2002, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Street Tree Oaks



Oaks as street trees - hmmmm In days gone by, oaks were commonly planted as street trees, so it can be done. The usual species in Southern California was the coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia, which should also work in San Jose. These days, you would want to make sure your median strip and the street itself are wide enough to accommodate a very large, spreading tree. I haven`t seen the deciduous oaks used - blue oak, black oak, valley oak - maybe they would work if you did not mind the leaf litter. Well, all oaks are messy, what with acorns and all. I wonder if Quercus chrysolepis has every been used as a street tree. What`s its common name - interior live oak? Gorgeous tree, sometimes looking more like its cousin, the chinquapin. If you plant a non-native oak, stay away from holly oak, Quercus ilicifolia. It can be very invasive. Any oak other than a native oak should be researched very carefully. Cheers, Lori Hubbart</p>
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Old 09-13-2002, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Street Tree Oaks



I have seen some beautiful streets lined in Coast live oak in my travels around the state. The temperature on those sidewalks was infinitely cooler than in the non-tree lined streets I walked. No one from where I live has that kind of imagination so we get palm lined streets that look funny and the trees drop round seeds covered in a pulp that induces slips and falls when you hit them. The trees don`t do anything to drop the temperature either.</p>
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Old 09-14-2002, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Street Tree Oaks



Five years ago I planted a blue oak 1 gal. size in the median located in the middle of the street in front of my house in Benicia. It is now about 30` tall with a 15` spread. The City maintenance workers have clipped the lower branches to provide clearance for passing vehicles, otherwise they have left it alone and it has a straight single trunk. The median is paved with river rock. I give it supplemental water two or three times during the dry season, otherwise it grows on the rainfall that is able to percolate through the pavement and from adjacent plants in the median. It is deciduous and has pretty fall color. But the leaves then turn the color of a shopping bag and persist through the winter until the new leaves sprout in the spring. Some people may not fund that phase attractive. I think its a great street tree and my neighbors like it too. I planted one in my back yard and it is growing the same way. The City planted coast live oaks in a 6` median of a four lane road by my house. Most are growing ok and they don`t interfere with traffic, but I think they may be getting too much water since the City regularly irrigates the groundcover in the median.</p>
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Old 09-16-2002, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Street Tree Oaks



My neighbor has two cork oaks Querus Suber originally planted as street trees in the 1920`s on the greenbelt in front of her property. They have managed to survive 75 years of Los Angeles pollution and overwatering surrounded by turf grass on a sprinkler system- yuck!but are noticably in decline now. Not native, but they are very attractive and the birds all seem to fight over the high bare branches at sunrise and sunset. Oaks are great as long as your neighbors can resist the temptation to add lawn around them. I wish you sucess! </p>
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