The garry oak is a deciduous tree with large craggy branches. It grows to 25 metres tall and has shiny, green leaves and light grey bark with thick ridges.
RANGE & HABITAT
The garry oak is found along the west coast of North America from southern B.C. to mid California. It is the only native oak growing in B.C. (it is leftover from before the Ice Age). It is common on open and dry sites, and forms a special meadow ecosystem with camas, shooting star, arbutus and other plants. In B.C. this plant is found in the Georgia Depression ecoprovince.
The garry oak is a slow growing tree. The leaves of the oak turn dull yellow or brown in the fall and produce small acorns.
Birds, small mammals and insects use the garry oak as their home.
TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES
The garry oak was once used for its wood to make fires, digging sticks and combs. Its acorns could be roasted or steamed for food.
The wood is used for wood crafts (bowls, etc.).
COSEWIC: Not Listed
CDC: The garry oak meadow ecosystem is classified Yellow by the CDC.
Photo: Nikko Snow