Valley Oak (Quercus lobata)
Quercus lobata, commonly called the valley oak, grows into the largest of North American oaks. It is endemic to California, growing in the hot interior valleys and foothills. Mature specimens may attain an age of up to 600 years. This deciduous oak requires year-round access to groundwater. Its thick, ridged bark is characteristic and evokes alligator hide. The valley oak's deeply lobed leaves assist in identification.