Habit: deciduous tree with a spreading rounded crown and twisted branches that occasionally reach the ground. Mature bark is gray and furrowed into a pattern of small checker like squares. The leaves are dark green above with 6-10 rounded lobes and grayish green undersides covered in finely soft hairs. Flowers inconspicuous blooming from March to April. The fruit is a conical shaped acorn. Like all oaks it is monoecious, male and female flowers on the same plant, and wind pollinated. In autumn the leaves turn a yellow to light orange color.
Ecology: native and endemic to only California usually growing on slopes, in valleys and savannas where climate is dry and hot. Thriving in rich deep soils, of dense riparian forests, open foothill woodlands up to 5500 ft (1700 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun in rich, moist soil, if given ideal conditions can grow rapidly.
California white oak acorns are an important food source for deer, California ground squirrels, and a variety of birds.