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9am-7pm daily

Oak Forest

Evergreen giants of Descanso

Forest remnants

Our coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), the magnificent giants in the Descanso landscape, can grow up to 100 feet tall. These trees, some centuries old, are what remains of a forest that once blanketed the region.

See it on our map

Oaks that thrive in a coastal climate

The iconic coast live oak typifies the natural Southern California coastal landscape. Its natural distribution ranges from California’s Mendocino County, along the Coast Ranges, and down to northern Baja California.

Coast live oak facts

The California coast live oak is an evergreen tree and flowering plant that belongs to the beech family (Fagacea). There are 19 species of coast live oaks native to California. Some coast live oak trees may live more than 1,000 years, have trunks that are more than 20 feet in circumference, and can grow 100 feet tall.

Home to hundreds

The coast live oak is known as a “keystone species,” meaning that the tree supports the existence of hundreds of other species, including mammals, birds, insects, fungi, plants, and even reptiles and amphibians.

The oaks sustained L.A.’s first people

The Tongva people were the first people to live on Descanso land. They relied on coast live oak acorns as one of their most important plant foods due to its high nutritional value, abundance, and versatility. Today, acorns are still considered sacred to the Tongva community and are a staple in traditional meals. The importance of the coast live oak in the interconnected web of life cannot be overstated.

Did you know?

The Tongva People were the first to inhabit the land that is now Descanso. The land where Descanso sits used to be home to 30 Tongva villages, each of which had around 400 huts.