|island oak, Santa Rosa Island|
|Natural range of Quercus tomentella|
Quercus tomentella, the island oak, island live oak, or Channel Island oak, is an oak in the section Protobalanus. It is native to six islands off the coast of California and the Baja California peninsula: five of the Channel Islands of California and Guadalupe Island.
Island oak is a tree growing up to 20 metres (66 ft) in height. The mature tree has a grayish to reddish brown trunk with scaly, furrowed bark. The twigs are reddish and covered in woolly hairs. The leathery leaf blades are often concave and are an oblong lance shape or oval with pointed or rounded tips. The edges are smooth or toothed. The upper surfaces are dark green and lightly hairy when new, losing the hairs over time. The undersides are gray-green and coated in woolly hairs, becoming less woolly with age. They are usually 7 to 10 centimeters long, sometimes up to 12. The acorn grows singly or in pairs. The cup has thick scales and woolly hairs and is up to 3 centimeters wide. The nut is up to 3.5 centimeters with a rounded tip.
The species is threatened by overgrazing. The most rapid declines have occurred on Guadalupe Island. The trees there are apparently no longer reproducing. Feral goats have been abundant on the island for at least 150 years. The animals have eliminated much of the native vegetation and caused extensive soil erosion. Fenced enclosures have been helpful in the early recovery of some of the local flora.
- Quercus tomentella. The Jepson Manual.
- Quercus tomentella. USDA PLANTS.
- Quercus tomentella. Flora of North America.
- Quercus tomentella. California Native Plant Society. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. 2013.
- Nixon, K., et al. 1998. Quercus tomentella. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 01 August 2013.
- Quercus tomentella. NatureServe. 2012.
- de la Luz, J. L. L., et al. (2003). On the urgency of conservation on Guadalupe Island, Mexico: is it a lost paradise? Biodiversity and Conservation 12(5), 1073-82.
- Junak, S., et al. (2003). Esfuerzos recientes de conservación y apuntes sobre el estado actual de la flora de Isla Guadalupe, Baja California, México. (Spanish) Presentation at Taller sobre la Restauración y Conservación de Isla Guadalupe [Workshop on Restoration and Conservation of Guadalupe Island]. Instituto Nacional de Ecología, November 13-14, 2003. HTML abstract (English)
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