Tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus)

[ Trees > Hardwoods > Oaks . . . ]      Forest Type: West Coast Hardwood


Evergreen; growing in coastal California and coastal Oregon; leaves alternate, simple, unlobed, leathery; acorns enclosed at base in spiny (not scaly) cup.

by Michael Kuo

Note: Both tanoak and coast live oak are victims of Sudden Oak Death; tens of thousands of California trees have died as a result of the pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, a fungus-like organism. See the California Oak Mortality Task Force for more information.

Habitat: Usually on moist but well drained soil; often mixed with other coastal trees (redwood, Douglas-fir, coast live oak, etc.); coastal California and coastal Oregon.

Stature: 70-90 feet high; to 3 feet in diameter; with a rounded crown and upward-angled branches.

Leaves: Evergreen; leathery; 3-5 inches long; alternate; simple; unlobed; veined; toothed; pale green and smooth above; brownish green below.

Bark: Thick; reddish brown; furrowed or scaly in age.

Acorns: Bitter; to 1 inch long; oval; enclosed at the base in a characteristically spiny (not hairy or scaly) cup.

(References consulted)

Frequent Mushroom Associates:

Agaricus hondensis; Boletus species; Cantharellus subalbidus; Cortinarius cotoneus; Craterellus cornucopioides; Entoloma bloxamii; Hygrophorus russula; Lactarius argillaceifolius var. megacarpus; Lactarius rubidus; Pleurotus ostreatus; Tricholoma saponaceum; and many others.


Lithocarpus densiflorus

Lithocarpus densiflorus

Lithocarpus densiflorus

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Kuo, M. (2005, August). Tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus). Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: