This is a wonderful example of the native oak that was growing here in Santa Clara Valley prior to urbanization. This species’ native habitat is the interior valleys of California, where is grows in open groves, usually with grasses underneath, a habitat know as an oak savannah. It is one of the largest growing of the many oaks found throughout the world and is a member of the white oak group, which has rounded lobes to the leaves. It is a deciduous oak, meaning that it drops its leaves in the winter revealing a massive and often picturesque convoluted branching structure.
There are a number of Coast Live Oaks on University Avenue in the Rose Garden neighborhood that have been declared as Heritage Trees. This species is an evergreen oak, which means that it retains its leaves during the winter. This species grows along the coastal mountains, hills and valleys of California, usually in closer stands than the Valley Oak. It is a member of the black oak group, as shown by the short spines or pointed lobes along the margins of the leaves.
The Western Sycamore is mainly found growing along the interior streams of California. They produce a massive canopy with a thick trunk, palmately lobed leaves and flaking bark that reveals a showy whitish hue underneath that makes the tree very distinctive. The species is an important member of the riparian, or stream side, plant community. In the spring the foliage it is often subject to anthracnose, a fungal disease that causes the first crop of leaves to distort and drop. The tree is able to tolerate the disease by putting on new leaves a little later in the season, when the air temperature is warmer with lower humidity, when the fungus will be less active.
This is a huge specimen of a species that is not native to California, but to the island of Tasmania, a large island on the southeastern coast of Australia. The species was originally brought into California, as a windbreak and for possibly for the wood to be used for railroad ties, which did not prove to be successful. However, as can be seen from this specimen, the tree develops a massive canopy and thick supportive trunk.
This is an unusual species of palm, known for its smooth massively thick trunk and pinnate fronds. The species is native to Chile, where the tops of the palm were harvested and fermented into wine. Unfortunately once the growing point is removed, the tree will die.
Get to know the Heritage Trees in your neighborhood by searching the Heritage Tree Map
The City of San Jose is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community’s expectations by providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public.