The Engelmann oak can grow into a medium to large size evergreen tree, capable of eventually reaching 25-60 ft. tall and as wide. Native to Southern California, there are many heritage scale trees currently growing in gardens, parks and preserves that have been protected from urban development. This species has pale blue-green leaves and coarse bark character on trunks and large branches.
Engelmann oak comes from elevated mesas and foothill slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County, south to San Diego and into Baja California. It is occasionally a dominant tree within the southern oak woodland association, but more often grows in association with coast live oak. Similar to other native oaks in California, it has been widely removed for urban development and much of its original population has been lost. Preservation is often best achieved by avoiding grading, compaction and summer irrigation around existing trees, and preserving as much area and natural habitat conditions as possible.
The Engelmann oak is becoming more widely planted in recent years in the Inland Empire where it serves as a good canopy tree in residential landscapes as well as in parks and greenbelts. It requires well-drained soils and low amounts of summer irrigation once established.