View Full Version : California Oaks

Randy Redford
22-Jun-2007, 18:20
I am trying to decide on a trip for the second week of September and thought of the hills with the Oaks in California. I have been through northern CA several times and driven by those hills, but am drawing a blank as to where they are most heavily concentrated. Any help? Thanks.

22-Jun-2007, 18:21
I don't know about NoCal, but there are very beautiful oak-studded hills in the area between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.

22-Jun-2007, 18:47
There's quite a few in the St. Helena area as well as the Santa Margarita Lake area off the 101.

22-Jun-2007, 20:13
Depends on how far north you want to go, also...some nice places up here in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties.


John Kasaian
22-Jun-2007, 20:59
If you want coastal oaks, old Fort Ord in Montery has some beauties. For Quercus Lobata try Tulare County.

Rob Carl
22-Jun-2007, 21:28
Of course there are Oaks all over California, but the Sierra Foothills get my vote. If you go east out of Merced, Modesto, or Manteca you will find the Tombstone Rocks intermingled with the Oaks.

22-Jun-2007, 22:55
Most photographers interested in oak photography do so during February through early May when our low elevation California oak environments are nicely green and or decorated with wildflowers. By mid May many of those environments become increasingly dry with grasses browning and flowers wilting and going to seed. Later there can be a period when some dried grains and grasses acquire a golden quality that can absorb fine early and late warm light color. Unfortunately finding such lands are not easy because most of our lower oak woodlands have either been destroyed by urbanization and sprawl or are on private lands and not accessable. Outside our urban areas, much oak woodlands have long been privately held cattle rangelands. One can browse through the California State Parks website or the parks and recreation websites of individual counties of which there are many in order to locate parks that have oaks in your locale. Although many parks have oaks, such woodlands often are too dense with trees in order to offer more isolated oaks that one might aesthetically isolate. In our SF Bay area, I like Henry Coe State Park and Sunol Regional Wilderness.


23-Jun-2007, 07:17
In addition to Henry Coe (an excellent suggestion) and the Sunol Regional, I'd also recommend Mt. Diablo State park.

You might also find information of interest at: http://www.californiaoaks.org/.

I can especially recommend the book Oaks of California by Bruce Pavlik, et al.

Brian Vuillemenot
24-Jun-2007, 15:21
My vote would be to drive along Highway 152 between Gilroy and Los Banos. You will go over Pacheco Pass, near the San Luis Reservoir, where there are a lot of oak covered hillsides. Pacheco State Park is located there and has lots of lovely oaks.

24-Jun-2007, 17:18
www.romanloranc.com. Also, check out the KQED video of him working.