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Shrub Live Oak (Scrub Oak)

Natural History

The Shrub Live Oak is a member of the beech family. The plant appears as a many branched shrub or tree with a gray scaly bark. It usually grows in dense thickets to heights of 13 feet at elevations between 4500 - 8000 feet. The leaves are bluish-green and oak shaped and are stiff with tiny pointed teeth on the edges.

Scrub Oak is the characteristic tree of Arizona chaparral; hikers will quickly become familiar with the plant due to its leg scratching properties.

Scrub oak blooms in the spring and produces tiny brownish flowers, followed by an acorn. Despite its tendency to overgrow trails, the plant provides soil stabilization and acorns for wildlife.

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