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Useful Temperate Plants

Notholithocarpus densiflorus

(Hook. & Arn.) Manos, Cannon & S.H.Oh

Fagaceae

+ Synonyms

Lithocarpus densiflorus (Hook. & Arn.) Rehder

Pasania densiflora (Hook. & Arn.) Oerst.

Quercus densiflora Hook. & Arn.

Quercus echinacea Torr.

Quercus echinata A.DC.

Quercus echinoides R.Br.ter

Synaedrys densiflora (Hook. & Arn.) Koidz.

Common Name: Tanbark Oak

No Image.

General Information

Notholithocarpus densiflorus is an evergreen shrub or a tree that sometimes is no more than 3 metres tall, more usually grows up to 20 metres tall, exceptionally reaching 45 metres. Trees growing in the subcanopy usually have narrow crowns, while open-grown trees have broad, rounded crowns. The bole is usually straight and cylindrical, though occasionally is crooked; when grown in forest conditions it can be free of branches for 9 - 24 metres and 20 - 80cm in diameter. Mature trees have deep taproots and an extensive network of lateral and surface roots[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. The tree has been harvested on a commercial basis for its wood and also for the tannins in its bark. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.

Known Hazards

Tanoak's leaf and twig trichomes shed when disturbed. They irritate the skin and are easily inhaled, making it unpleasant to log in tanoak forests[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz P.A. & Keck D.D.
Publisher
University of California Press; Los Angeles
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Southwestern N. America - southern Oregon and California.

Habitat

Mixed evergreen forest and redwood forest, open conifer forest, margins of woods, on slopes and dry slopes; at elevations up to 2,200 metres[
71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz P.A. & Keck D.D.
Publisher
University of California Press; Los Angeles
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
]. Fertile mountain slopes[
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Notholithocarpus densiflorus is a moderately cold-hardy tree, tolerating occasional temperatures down to around -15°c when dormant. It grows best in areas with to a mediterranean climate modified by cool-moist coastal air currents. It grows in a region where the mean annual precipitation ranges from 1,020 - 2,540mm, with rainy winters and dry summers and autumns. Productive tanoak sites are humid, with plentiful moisture from soil, rain, fog, low clouds, and/or high humidity.
Both young and older trees are shade tolerant; they also grow well in full sun[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Prefers a deep fertile soil with medium drainage[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
], growing in the wild on a variety of soil types[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
,
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].
A slow-growing tree in the wild, living up to 300 - 350 years old[
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].
Plants usually flower in the spring and sometimes again in the autumn[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
]. The seeds take two seasons to ripen[
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
]. Prolific crops are usually produced every other year in the wild[
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].
The mean annual production of trees with boles between 45 - 60cm in diameter is estimated at 3,900 - 4,600 acorns. A 24-year study on a productive northern California site found tanoak seed production was more consistent than that of associated California black oaks (Quercus kelloggii) and Pacific madrones. Tanoak production was mostly light. Tanoak acorn production in a heavy seed year ranged from 220,000 - 420,000 sound acorns per hectare[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Tanoak seedlings quickly develop a burl at the base of the trunk from which they can resprout if damaged. The burl is already partly effective within a few days of germination and is fully developed within about 5 years[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Young plants often die back to this burl for no apparent reason. The original seedling stem typically dies back by the time the plant is 6 - 12 years old, with the new stem being somewhat stouter stem than the original. The tree can die back and resprout from the burl at least 3 to 5 times by the age of 60, even when top-killing events are not apparent. The burl buds divide as the burl enlarges, so the number of subsurface buds increases as tanoaks age. One large tanoak stump supported about 1,400 buds. Open-grown tanoaks tend to produce more sprouts/burl than tanoaks in shade. The sprouts can be very dense after logging or fire, often forming extensive stands[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked[
94
Title
Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West.
Publication
 
Author
Sweet. M.
Publisher
Naturegraph Co.
Year
1962
ISBN
0-911010-54-8
Description
Useful wild plants in Western N. America. A pocket guide.
,
95
Title
Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada.
Publication
 
Author
Saunders. C. F.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1976
ISBN
0-486-23310-3
Description
Useful wild plants of America. A pocket guide.
]. The seed was a staple food for several native North American Indian tribes[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. It contains bitter-tasting tannins and there are various ways of removing them. The fastest is by soaking the ground-up seed in hot water - if the water is changed at least once the tannins should be removed within 12 hours. Traditionally, the seeds were placed in a cloth bag and either buried in swampy ground or suspended in a running stream for a few months. Once the tannins have been removed, the seed is then dried, ground into a powder and can be used as a porridge or can be mixed with cereal flours in baking bread etc[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
,
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. It has a pleasant taste after it has been leached[
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
]. The yellowish brown, globose to cylindric-tapered nut is 15 - 35mm long and wide[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
,
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

The seed is valued for its oil[
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
].

Medicinal

The bark is very astringent. An infusion is used as a wash for face sores[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. The infusion can also be held in the mouth to tighten loose teeth[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

The bark is exceedingly rich in tannin, yielding up to 29%[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
,
123
Title
Encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th edition.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
It contains a few things of interest to the plant project.
,
171
Title
Economic Botany.
Publication
 
Author
Hill. A. F.
Publisher
The Maple Press
Year
1952
ISBN
-
Description
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some detail about the plants it does cover.
]. It has been used as a brown dye and also to preserve rope that is being used in water[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

The wood is hard, strong, close grained, brittle. It is not commercially important and is used mainly for fuel[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
,
229
Title
The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
Publication
 
Author
Elias. T.
Publisher
Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
Year
1980
ISBN
0442238622
Description
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
].

Propagation

The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It needs to be protected from mice, squirrels and other seed eaters. The seed has a short viability but can be stored for a few months if kept cool and slightly damp - the salad compartment of a fridge is a good storage place. Germination takes place in the winter or early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If the plants are 15cm or more tall by the summer they can be planted out into their permanent positions. Give them a good weed-excluding mulch and some protection from the cold for their first couple of years outdoors. If growth is not sufficient then grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-12-09. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Notholithocarpus+densiflorus>

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