Restoring California’s native oak trees

Oaks in winter mist; Image: Ger Erickson

If you asked people to name a tree synonymous with California, you might hear “palm tree” or “redwood,” but the mighty oak is the foundation of much of California’s native plant biodiversity. Over 20 species of native oak trees and even more varieties and hybrids anchor nearly 20 million acres of woodlands and forests across the state.

Oaks can live to be over 400 years old, storing carbon, shading the hot land, and supplying food and shelter to thousands of insects, birds, and other animals. Oaks are also culturally significant, maintained by California Tribes with frequent, low-severity fire and other methods of tending. But California’s oak population is facing dramatic declines, affecting all who rely on them. Efforts are ongoing to restore oak woodlands, including replanting oaks. Here’s how you can help.

ReOak California Resources

Turn an Acorn into an Oak: How to Leave a Natural Legacy

Planting and Caring for Native Oaks from Napa RCD

Should I replant my burnt oak woodland?, p.31

ReOak Wine Country, p.13

Ancient Oaks by Emily Underwood

Ancient Oaks by Emily Underwood

What the traces of past oaks
can tell us about their future.

Quercus douglasii leaf, with illustration; Image: Fred Roberts

Recommended native oaks

Recommended native oaks

Open Calscape, type oak into
the search, then enter your address to find
oaks that grow well in your area.

Acorn Woodpecker in oak tree; Image: Matthew Ferretti

Have questions or want to learn more about ReOak California? Email us at

We Need Your Help

In the past 70 years,  more than 1 million acres of oak habitat have been lost to development, disease, and habitat decimation. Your donation helps restore these essential trees.