Fagaceae: Beech Family — Quercus (Oak)
Oaks can be challenging. Those found in Monterey County are in three groups: Red (or Black) Oaks, Intermediate Oaks, and White Oaks. Red Oaks and Intermediate Oaks have acorns that generally mature over a 2 year period (Coast Live Oak is an exception to this rule). White Oaks have acorns that mature in a single season. Most Red Oaks and Intermediate Oaks are evergreen (California Black Oak being the exception). White Oaks may be either evergreen or deciduous. To complicate matters, hybrid forms (some named, many not) are common. So individual trees can be difficult to identify with certainty. All oaks are monoecious, with conspicuous male flowers. The female flowers are hard to see, found in the axils of the leaves near the tips of the new stems.