Anyone know where to find a Valley Oak trees (Q. Lobata) growing in the Los Angeles area?
I was wondering, does anyone out there know where it's possible to find groves of valley oak (quercus lobata) in the LA area? I ask because I want to gather some acorns and these are the only variety in the S. Cal area that can be picked and processed into flour without the need for leeching.
More specifically, does anyone know if there are any valley oak trees growing in the Agngles National Forest or in the Valley?
You might find this useful:
Calflora: Search for Observations : Quercus lobata : www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/occform.cgi?...
Click the "View All Points (map viewer)" button on that page for a more detailed, zoomable map.
BTW, My understanding is that Valley Oaks have much lower levels of tannins than most other oaks, but exactly how much can vary with variety/subspecies and growing conditions. Some are almost tannin-free, but some may have enough tannins to cause digestive upset and risk liver damage over time due to cumulative effects. Personally, I'd proceed cautiously. :-)
The natural range of lobata extends east into the west San Fernando Valley from the Simi Hills/Santa Susanas, but not into the Angeles (405 Fwy is about the limit).
In the Santa Monicas, they are restricted to the valley slope (as opposed to the coast) and are a dominant tree in the Malibu Creek watershed. I'm not familiar with regs on State Park lands (Malibu Creek SP), or NPS lands (King Gillette Ranch) so you might want to check if you're taking more than a few handfuls (which I can't imagine would be a problem). Probably wouldn't want to take them from a botanic garden but who knows.
Haven't heard that about the need for leaching - I'd be careful and get confirmation from a local ethnobotanist/expert (not me!).