Deciduous tree with heavy, craggy branches, up to 25 m tall but often small, shrubby and as short as 1 m in dry, rocky habitats; trunks up to 1 m wide; bark light grey with thick scaly ridges.
Alternate, deciduous, blades oblong to egg-shaped in outline with 3-7 lobes per side, the lobes entire or 2-3 toothed, up to 12 cm long with stalks 1-2 cm long, the largest sinuses extending more than halfway to the midrib, bright shiny green and glabrous above, paler below with reddish to yellow hairs, turning yellowish-brown in the fall.
Inflorescence of tiny inconspicuous male and female flowers, these separate but on the same tree; female flowers clustered or single surrounded by a scaly cuplike involucre; male flowers numerous in catkins.
Acorns, 1-seeded, maturing in one season, unstalked, egg-shaped to nearly round, 2-3 cm long; cups shallow, bumpy, hairy within.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present from Summer to Fall
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
In British Columbia, Garry oak is most easily confused with the introduced English oak (Quercus rubur). The two species may be separated by characteristics of leaf lobing, leaf stalks, and acorn morphology. In English oak, leaf lobing is shallow, less than halfway to the midrib, while in Garry oak lobing often extends more than halfway to the midrib. Leaf petioles in English oak are short, 1-3 mm long, while in Garry oak they are 1-2 cm long. English oak acorns have relatively long stalks, while Garry oak acorns are stalkless. Identification in oaks can be challenging because of the frequent occurrence of hybrids.