Squirrels Planting Trees?
Advice for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
MGCC Help Desk Response: Thank you for contacting the UC Master Gardener Help Desk with the photo of your little sprout. By the shape of its leaves, it does appear to be a deciduous oak tree, probably the result of an acorn buried by an industrious squirrel.
The sapling is too small at this point to determine which one it is. California is the home of 21 native live oak trees, and that number doesn't include the many non-native oak trees that people have planted in their gardens. Given that the tree was probably planted by a local squirrel, you might want to look around your neighborhood and see if there is another oak tree that resembles yours. If you like the appearance of the possible parent tree and the location of this one, you might consider letting it grow up a bit more and see what you think.
Below is a link to information about oak identification including drawings and descriptions of oak leaves, bark and acorns: http://ucanr.edu/sites/oak_range/Californias_Rangeland_Oak_Species/
The UC ANR also has a downloadable free publication for homeowners with helpful advice about oak tree management: http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/21538.pdf
We look forward to hearing from you about any questions you have concerning your home garden and landscape.
Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (RSB)
Please Join us at "Fall for Plants" on September 9 for the workshops and the plant sale,.
Registration is optional, but it'll get you a free plant from the sale. Hope to see you there.
Note: The UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions. Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. We can also be reached via telephone: (925)646-6586, email: email@example.com, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/ MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog (http://ucanr.edu/blogs/CCMGBlog/)./span>