Fagaceae: Beech Family — Quercus (Oak)
Oaks can be challenging. Those found in Monterey County fall into one of three sections, 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 being a prominent exception to this rule). White Oaks have acorns that mature in a single season. Most Red Oaks and Intermediate Oaks (California Black Oak being the exception) are evergreen. 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, the conspicuous flowers being the male with the female flowers extremely inconspicuous, found in the axils of the leaves near the tips of the new stems.