The oak has long been considered a symbol of strength ("sturdy as an oak," "mighty oaks from little acorns grow"), and is celebrated in myths and legends throughout the world. It wat sacred to Thor and Jupiter, while the Druids, who thought that it inspired prophecy, built their altars under it. Indians and Spanish-Americans alike gathered acorns for food. Many birds and animals eat its acorns, and mule deer and porcupines have been known to eat oaK leaves.
Oak wood is used for flooring, furniture, fuel and fenceposts.
Shrub Live Oak (a)
scrub oak, encino achaparrado [shrub-size oak] Quercus turblneli Range: Our whole range; w to CA; s. to Mex. Dry slopes, 4,500' - 8,000' This oak should be readily identified by its small, somewhat shiny, bluish green, hollylike leaves with spine-tipped teeth arid dull yellow to reddish, hairy undersides.
Wavyleaff Oak (b)
scrub, shin, switch or evergreen oak; encino Quercunu^dulat
Range: Our whole range; w. to CA; s. to Mex. Dry places, 4,000' - 10,000'.
Wavy leaf margins of this oak are distinctive. The leaves are shiny and blue green and slightly (if at all) crinkled.
black or blackjack oak; roble negro [black oak], bellota Quercusemor] f Range: c. & se AZ, sw NM, w. TX; s. to Mex. Dry, rocky places, 3,000' - 8,000'.
Stiff, leathery, lustrous, dark green leaves serve to identify this oak. The undersides of the leaves are somewhat paler.
Gray Oak (d) shin oak, encinablanca [white oak] Quercusgrisea Range: s. AZ, s. NM, w. TX; s. to Mex. Dry rocky sites, 4,500' - 7,800'.
Small, oval, usually smooth-margined (occasionally toothed), dusty, gray blue leaves distinguish this oak from all others in our range.
Silverleaff Oak (e)
white leaf oak, encino bianco Quercus hypoleucoides
Range: se AZ, sw NM, w. TX; s. to Mex. Slopes & ridges, 4,000' - 8,500'.
This is the only one of our oaks to have silver-felt undersides on its lustrous, dark green leaves and the inside of the acorn cup fuzzy. The small chestnut brown acorn is enclosed for about 1/3 of its length by a silver-haired, scaly cup.
Arizona White Oak (f) Arizona oak, roble Quercus arizonica
Range: c. & se AZ, s. NM, w. TX; s. to Mex. Dry, rocky slopes, 5,000' -10,000' The undersides of this oak's leaves are permanently and densely matted with short, fuzzy, light brown hairs. Their upper surfaces are dull bluish green. The insides of the acorn cups are also fuzzy. The "evergreen" leaves are dropped before the new leaves emerge. _
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