Thanks to Dr. John M. Tucker, professor of botany, director of the Arboretum (1965-66 and 1972-84), and a prominent oak researcher, the UC Davis Arboretum is home to one of the largest and most diverse oak collections in the country, focusing on trees from the southwest U.S., Mexico, and the Mediterranean region. Our collection includes about 100 species, varieties, and hybrids. Massive heritage valley oaks (Quercus lobata) line the Arboretum waterway, and about 275 evergreen and deciduous oak trees grow in the 10-acre Shields Oak Grove, at the west end of the Arboretum. Many of the oaks in Shields Oak Grove were started in the 1960s from acorns collected from around the world for his research. In 2001, Dr. Tucker created an endowment to help preserve the Grove for future generations.
The grove is located just west of the Gazebo, off Garrod Drive on the UC Davis campus.
CLICK HERE for a map.
Did you know it is home to oaks with acorns as big as golf balls, oaks once grown to build warships, and oaks required to dye the royal robes of European monarchs red? Visitors who explore the “Oaks Gone Wild!” story map will encounter more than interesting horticultural and historical tidbits about these unique trees—the story map also reveals information about the grove’s abundant wildlife and innovative community-created art. Created for the curious visitor as opposed to the seasoned scientist, this story map seeks to engage its audience with tongue-in-cheek titles and short, engaging descriptions paired with enticing photos. Virtual visitors can tour the collection at home on their desktops or access the information upon arriving on site using a data-enabled smart phone or tablet.
In California and worldwide, many oak species are threatened with extinction by urbanization, clearing for agriculture, livestock grazing, overharvesting, and global climate change. A recent global study of oaks found 29 species to be critically endangered or endangered and 27 more species to be vulnerable. In Shields Oak Grove, Santa Cruz Island oak (Quercus parvula) and Brandegee oak (Quercus brandegeei) from Baja California are both considered endangered in the wild.
The UC Davis Arboretum is a member of the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) Multisite Oak Collection. We and our partners have committed to maintain our oak collections at the highest horticultural and museum standards to ensure their long-term preservation for research, teaching, and conservation.
SUPPORT OUR OAKS
Consider making a gift to support the work of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Arboretum’s oak collection.
Director of Public Horticulture Ellen Zagory speaks at a press conference in support of homeowners who install water-wise landscaping
On August 14, Ellen Zagory, Director of Public Horticulture, together with Loren Oki, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in Landscape Horticulture with the Department of Plant Sciences, spoke at a press conference on the steps of the Sacramento capitol in support of Assembly Bill 2104 (authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez). This bill prevents homeowner’s associations from levying fines against residents for installing drought-tolerant landscapes. On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
Over the next couple of days (Friday, September 26, 2014 through early the following week of September 28, 2014) a portion of Garrod Drive just off La Rue Road leading to the Arboretum Teaching Nursery, will be closed with a detour in place.
Please refer to the map below or CLICK HERE to download a map of the detour.
This work is part of a multi-year plan to improve access and create campus- and visitor-friendly features at the west end of the Arboretum. The area is part of an exciting initiative zone that contains several large, campus-funded projects. The Arboretum and Public Garden team has been working with campus project managers and departments to coordinate and leverage these projects to enhance the visitor experience in the Arboretum.
The Garrod Drive realignment and Putah Creek Lodge parking lot expansion (happening now), will improve access to the Arboretum Teaching Nursery. This lot will feature trees specifically chosen for their ability to tolerate tough, urban conditions, a new bioswale will filter water that runs off from the parking lot, and a California native plant meadow will collect excess water from the entire site while creating wildlife habitat.
READ MORE in UC Davis Dateline.