Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Turbinella Oak, Desert Scrub Oak, Shrub Live Oak
Quercus turbinella

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Quercus (KWER-kus) (Info)
Species: turbinella (tur-bin-EL-uh) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 18 photos.
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral cinemike On Sep 9, 2010, cinemike from CREZIERES
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

Just come back form a trip to the South of France (Aude) and I was interested to see lots of thes growing like very low spiny bushes on a 'garrigue' near the coast at Smaphore Lighthouse (Phare) near Leucate.
Strange to see acorns so large in realtion to a very small bush. They must be good for xeriscaping as the area gets next to no rain in the summer.

Positive killdawabbit On Jan 27, 2010, killdawabbit from Christiana, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

This little tree has done well for me here in middle TN. Planted about 16 years ago. For a while I had a clump of ornamental grass next to it and let it get a little lopsided. I could kick myself. But I took care of that. I love it.

Positive SleepyFox On Jan 13, 2010, SleepyFox from Prescott, AZ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Grows wild everywhere here in northern Arizona and forms very large chaparral plant communities at lower elevations, and intermixes into woodlands with Pinyon Pine and Alligator juniper at higher elevations. Most urban areas have them trimmed into hedges, and some people keep them properly trimmed until they reach a traditional "tree" form. They're extremely drought resistant and hold their leaves until the end of winter until they drop them and quickly sprout new ones, but they do require trimming and upkeep if you want them to attain a certain height or stay in order.

Positive Azriparian On Dec 3, 2009, Azriparian from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Quercus turbinella grows well in Phoenix Arizona, makes a good shrub or hedge. I have found this oak growing in desert mountains and washes at 1,800ft in the Kofas, and White Tanks in Maricopa County. I also found it growing as high as 8,000ft on MT. Ord North eastern Maricopa County. Over all it is a hardy shrub that should be used more in desert landscaping.

Neutral Kelli On Apr 26, 2005, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Native to drier mountains of southern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, and northern Mexico. Usually found above 4,000 ft. elevation.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cave Creek, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (2 reports)
Prescott, Arizona
Denver, Colorado
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Christiana, Tennessee
Austin, Texas

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