This is the largest Canyon Live Oak I’ve ever seen which probably means it’s the oldest.  I don’t know how to measure it.  My husband says about 6 feet in diameter but that is only if you don’t measure those branches which come out of the base.

The largest Canyon Live Oak is in Southern California.  Go here to see it.  You have to (no, scratch that) you GET to scroll through some of the most magnificent portraits of the biggest, oldest, strongest trees you’ve ever seen photographed lovingly in all their glory in order to find it—well worth the 15 seconds it takes.  Ours, here is Humboldt looks close in size to my untrained eye.  The oldest is supposedly 11 feet in diameter.

Even at 6 feet, ours is in the upper limits of age at around 300 years old.

According to the National forest service:

Canyon live oak was one of the woods most commonly used by early California settlers for farm implements, shipbuilding, furniture, and fuel. The common name maul oak came from its use as a splitting maul. Canyon live oak has been considered a non-manageable hardwood; however, its high caloric value and rapid sprout growth make it an excellent source of fuelwood. Manufactured into paneling, the wood makes an attractive multicolored interior wall covering. [We have some in our house and it is spectacular.  People comment on its beauty constantly.]

… The ability of canyon live oak to grow on steep, rocky, moving slopes makes it an excellent stabilizer of soils on steep slopes…. The acorns are an important source of food for scrub and Steller’s jays, acorn woodpecker, band-tailed pigeon, wild turkey, mountain quail, ground squirrel, woodrat, black bear, and mule deer. Deer also use the foliage as food.

Just an idea but I’d love to see folk send in photos of the biggest/oldest trees in their areas with rough measurements.  Surely I’m not the only one in love with these trees that have stretched their roots into Humboldt dirt before there were white settlers in the area.


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