Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Quercus vaccinifolia

Introductory

SPECIES: Quercus vaccinifolia
 
Huckleberry oak growing in a draw of Kennedy Canyon, Stanislaus National Forest. Photo by Janet L. (Howard) Fryer, U.S. Forest Service, Fire Sciences Laboratory.
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : 
Howard, Janet L. 1992. Quercus vaccinifolia. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). 
Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

ABBREVIATION : 
QUEVAC

SYNONYMS : 
   Quercus chrysolepis var. vaccinifolia (Kell.) Engelm.
   Quercus vacciniifolia Kell. [31]

SCS PLANT CODE : 
   QUVA


COMMON NAMES : 
   huckleberry oak


TAXONOMY : 
The currently accepted scientific name of huckleberry oak is Quercus
vaccinifolia Kell. [15,27].  There are no recognized subspecies,
varieties, or forms.

Huckleberry oak hybridizes with canyon live oak (Q. chrysolepis)
[1,17,27].


LIFE FORM : 
Shrub

FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : 
No special status

OTHER STATUS : 
NO-ENTRY

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Quercus vaccinifolia
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Huckleberry oak is distributed along the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range from Fresno County, California north to Siskiyou County, California, and in the North Coast and Siskiyou ranges from Mendocino County, California north to Josephine County, Oregon [1,10,15,16].  It also occurs in extreme west-central Nevada [24]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES20  Douglas-fir    FRES21  Ponderosa pine    FRES23  Fir - spruce    FRES26  Lodgepole pine    FRES28  Western hardwoods    FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub STATES :      CA  NV  OR BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     3  Southern Pacific Border KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K002  Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest    K003  Silver fir - Douglas-fir forest    K004  Fir - hemlock forest    K008  Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest    K009  Pine - cypress forest    K010  Ponderosa shrub forest    K011  Western ponderosa forest    K012  Douglas-fir forest    K013  Cedar - hemlock - pine forest    K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest    K020  Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest    K029  California mixed evergreen forest    K030  California oakwoods    K034  Montane chaparral SAF COVER TYPES :    205  Mountain hemlock    207  Red fir    211  White fir    215  Western white pine    218  Lodgepole pine    229  Pacific Douglas-fir    230  Douglas-fir - western hemlock    231  Port-Orford-cedar    234  Douglas-fir - tanoak - Pacific madrone    238  Western juniper    243  Sierra Nevada mixed conifer    244  Pacific ponderosa pine - Douglas-fir    245  Pacific ponderosa pine    246  California black oak    247  Jeffrey pine    248  Knobcone pine    249  Canyon live oak    256  California mixed subalpine    218  Lodgepole pine HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : The huckleberry oak community type is composed of montane chaparral fields dominated by this species [10,16].  It is also an important or dominant component of the subcanopy layer of various coniferous forests [1,9,22].  Huckleberry oak is listed as a dominant species in the following publications: Preliminary plant associations of the Siskiyou Mountain Province [1] Association types in the North Coast Ranges of California [4] Mixed evergreen forest [22] The vascular plant communitites of California [26]

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Quercus vaccinifolia
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Mule deer browse huckleberry oak heavily.  Foliage is sparsely used by livestock, but they readily eat huckleberry oak acorns.  Acorns are also consumed by a variety of wildlife, including black bear, mule deer, various rodents, blue grouse, mountain quail, and various small nongame birds [21,29]. PALATABILITY : The palatability of huckleberry oak for livestock and deer is rated as follows [21]:      mule deer: fair to poor      cattle:    poor to useless      sheep:     poor to useless      goats:     poor to useless      horses:    useless NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Huckleberry oak affords excellent erosion control on steep slopes of watersheds [21].  Nursery seedlings have been planted in the Lake Tahoe Basin as a part of a project to control erosion and reduce sediment entering Lake Tahoe [23].  Plants are also established by fall planting of acorns.  Cultivation methods have been detailed [18]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Unwanted huckleberry oak can be controlled by applying 2,4-D or triclopr ester to freshly cut stumps, or by grubbing out root crowns [24].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Quercus vaccinifolia
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Huckleberry oak is a native, drought-resistant, evergreen, erect to prostrate, spreading shrub.  It grows from 2 to 4 feet (0.6-1.2 m) high. Branches are slender and flexible, with smooth bark [24].  Leaves are sclerophyllous and brittle.  Acorns are from 0.4 to 0.6 inch (1.0-1.5 cm) long [15]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual:  Huckleberry oak is wind pollinated.  The age at which acorns are first produced is unknown.  Acorns mature in 1 year [29].  Limited research places their germination capacity at 43 percent.  Germination is hypogeal and occurs rapidly under warm, moist conditions [18]. Vegetative:  Huckleberry oak sprouts from the root crown following damage to aboveground portions of the plant [3,24].  It also reproduces by layering [30]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Huckleberry oak is found on xeric sites such as dry, windy ridges from 3,000 to 10,000 feet (305-3,049 m) in elevation [10,15].  Slope varies from gentle to steep.  The soil is often rocky, and varies in depth from shallow to moderately deep (4.7 to 37.4 inches [12-95 cm]) [1,9]. Huckleberry oak will grow in serpentine soils [11]. Overstory associates not listed as SAF cover types include sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), beach pine (P. contorta ssp. contorta), incense-cedar (Libocedrus decurrens), Brewer spruce (Picea breweriana), Baker cypress (Cupressus bakeri), and giant chinkapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla) [6,11,19,25] . Shrub associates include pinemat manzanita (Arctostaphylos nevadensis), California buckthorn (Rhamnus californica), poison-oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), deer oak (Quercus sadleriana), Fremont silktassel (Garrya fremontii), squawcarpet ceanothus (Ceanothus prostratus), chaparral whitethorn (C. leucodermis), and shrub forms of California bay (Umbellularia californica), common juniper (Juniperus communis), and tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflora), [1,10,11,13,16]. Groundcover associates include obscure bedstraw (Galium ambiguum), heart-leafed arnica (Arnica cordifolia), cliff-brake fern (Aspidotis densa), bear-grass (Xerophyllum tenax), red fescue (Festuca rubra), California fescue (F. californica), nodding microseris (Microseris nutans), false-flax (Carex serratodens), scarlet paintbrush (Castilleja miniata), and western rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia) [1,9,11]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Huckleberry oak is an edaphic or fire-climax species on some sites [11,16].  In the absence of fire and under favorable soil conditions, huckleberry oak is seral to coniferous species [1,3]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Huckleberry oak initiates growth in April or after snowmelt at high elevation.  Flowering occurs from May to June.  Information on time of acorn drop is lacking.  Seasonal growth ends around November with the onset of freezing temperatures [10,15].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Quercus vaccinifolia
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Huckleberry oak has adapted to fire by sprouting from the root crown [3,24].  This shrub has resinous, flammable leaves [5,24].  Its low, spreading growth form encourages surface fire, especially in dense, even-aged stands with considerable horizontal continuity [16,24].  Huckleberry oak in the subcanopy layer of coniferous forests often acts as a ladder fuel, resulting in crown fire [24]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Small shrub, adventitious-bud rootcrown

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Quercus vaccinifolia
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Huckleberry oak is top-killed by fire [3,24].  The percentage of individuals suffering complete kill following moderate and severe fires is undocumented. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : The postfire recovery rate of huckleberry oak is undocumented. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Huckleberry oak aids in the spread of surface and crown fires.  Reducing the density of shrub fields is recommended, especially in inhabited areas or locations nearby.  This can be accomplished by removing every other oak in a field, or by creating islands of shrubs with cleared areas between them.  Stumps require herbicide treatment or grubbing out to prevent sprouting.  Thinning huckleberry oak in the subcanopy layer, and pruning "leave" shrubs to less than 18 inches (46 cm) in height reduces fire hazard in forested areas [24].

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Quercus vaccinifolia
REFERENCES :  1.  Atzet, Thomas; Wheeler, David L. 1984. Preliminary plant associations of        the Siskiyou Mountain Province. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. 278 p.  [9351]  2.  Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals,        reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's        associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO:        U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p.        [434]  3.  Biswell, Harold H. 1974. Effects of fire on chaparral. In: Kozlowski, T.        T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. New York: Academic Press:        321-364.  [14547]  4.  Clark, Harold W. 1937. Association types in the North Coast Ranges of        California. Ecology. 18: 214-230.  [11187]  5.  Cooper, W. S. 1922. The broad-sclerophyll vegetation of California.        Publ. No. 319. Washington, DC: The Carnegie Institution of Washington.        145 p.  [6716]  6.  Dodd, Richard S. 1992. Noteworthy collections: California. Madrono.        39(1): 79.  [17536]  7.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905]  8.  Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others].        1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range        ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p.  [998]  9.  Hawk, Glenn Martin. 1977. Comparative study of temperate Chamaecyparis        forests. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 195 p. Dissertation.        [9759] 10.  Holland, Robert F. 1986. Preliminary descriptions of the terrestrial        natural communities of California. Sacramento, CA: California Department        of Fish and Game. 156 p.  [12756] 11.  Keeler-Wolf, Todd. 1986. An ecological survey of the proposed Stone        Corral - Josephine Peridotite Research Natural Area (L. E. Horton -        Darlingtonia Bog Research Nat. Area) on the Six Rivers National Forest,        Del Norte County, California. Purchase order # 40-9AD6-5-907.        Unpublished report on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. 69 p.        [12307] 12.  Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation        of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York:        American Geographical Society. 77 p.  [1384] 13.  Mallory, James I. 1980. Canyon live oak. In: Eyre, F. H., ed. Forest        cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of        American Foresters: 125-126.  [7608] 14.  McKee, Arthur. 1990. Castanopsis chrysophylla (Dougl.) A. DC.  giant        chinkapin. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical        coordinators. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb.        654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service:        234-239.  [13962] 15.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155] 16.  Muth, Gilbert Jerome. 1980. Quercus saderiana R. Br. Campst., its        distribution, ecology, and relationships to other oaks. In: Plumb,        Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the        ecology, management and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26-28;        Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range        Experiment Station: 75-80.  [7017] 17.  Myatt, Rodney G. 1980. Canyon live oak vegetation in the Sierra Nevada.        In: Plumb, Timothy R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the        symposium on the ecology, management and utilization of California oaks;        1979 June 26-28; Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest        and Range Experiment Station: 86-91.  [7019] 18.  Olson, David F., Jr. 1974. Quercus L. oak. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed.        Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450.        Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 692-703.        [7737] 19.  Oosting, H. J.; Billings, W. D. 1943. The red fir forest of the Sierra        Nevada: Abietum magnificae. Ecological Monographs. 13(3): 260-273.        [11521] 20.  Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant        geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p.  [2843] 21.  Sampson, Arthur W.; Jespersen, Beryl S. 1963. California range        brushlands and browse plants. Berkeley, CA: University of California,        Division of Agricultural Sciences, California Agricultural Experiment        Station, Extension Service. 162 p.  [3240] 22.  Sawyer, John O.; Thornburgh, Dale A.; Griffin, James R. 1977. Mixed        evergreen forest. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Major, Jack, eds. Terrestrial        vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 359-381.        [7218] 23.  Slayback, Robert D.; Clary, Raimond F., Jr. 1988. Vegetative solutions        to erosion control in the Tahoe Basin. In: Rieger, John P.; Williams,        Bradford K., eds. Proceedings of the second native plant revegetation        symposium; 1987 April 15-18; San Diego, CA. Madison, WI: University of        Wisconsin - Arboretum, Society of Ecological Restoration & Management:        66-69.  [4097] 24.  Smith, Ed; Adams, Gerald. 1991. Incline Village/Crystal Bay defensible        space handbook. SP-91-06. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 61 p.  [18867] 25.  Thornburgh, Dale. 1990. Picea breweriana Wats.  Brewer spruce. In:        Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics        of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 181-186.  [13383] 26.  Thorne, Robert F. 1976. The vascular plant communities of California.        In: Latting, June, ed. Symposium proceedings: plant communities of        southern California; 1974 May 4; Fullerton, CA. Special Publication No.        2. Berkeley, CA: California Native Plant Society: 1-31.  [3289] 27.  Tucker, John M. 1980. Taxonomy of California oaks. In: Plumb, Timothy        R., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology,        management and utilization of California oaks; 1979 June 26 - June 28;        Claremont, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-44. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range        Experiment Station: 19-29.  [7011] 28.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982.        National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names.        SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p.  [11573] 29.  Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States,        their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S.        Department of Agriculture. 362 p.  [4240] 30.  Biswell, Harold H. 1974. Effects of fire on chaparral. In: Kozlowski, T.        T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. New York: Academic Press:        321-364.  [14547] 31.  Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of        the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. In: North        Carolina Botanical Garden (Producer). In cooperation with: The Nature        Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and        Wildlife Service.  [36715]


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