Science for a Blue Planet

Featuring cutting-edge work, discoveries, and challenges of our scientists, our partners, and the larger conservation science community.

California Oaks Need Our Help! Here’s How…

Oaks are in trouble in California from extensive clearing and development, especially within the southern part of the state, the Central Valley, and foothills of the Sierra Nevada and coastal ranges. In some areas, oaks are not producing young trees to replace older trees as they die, especially blue, valley, and Engelmann oak. Some of the challenges not well understood, but we know that, more recently, drought and climate change are causing worrisome dieback of some species.

Oaks need our help to regenerate so they can continue to provide their important ecological and cultural functions, like nesting and food for many local wildlife species as well as food and medicine for people. That’s why Point Blue biologists created the California Oak Planting Guide.

The guide is intended for landowners and land managers who are managing more extensive habitat rather than a small yard or street. For resources tree planting for more urban or suburban environments, you can see sources such as Solano County’s Urban Forest, Friends of the Urban Forest, and many more. 

What’s inside?

Point Blue’s California Oak Planting Guide includes six helpful sections that guide you through the process from finding seeds and materials to where to plant on your land to caring for oaks once they’re in the soil:

  1. Considerations for planting
  2. Gathering acorns
  3. Planting approaches
  4. Planting acorns and seedlings
  5. Irrigation and maintenance
  6. Resources

We hope this guide provides ample support or at least a starting point to work together to restore these iconic and essential species.


Contact Alissa Fogg at or Isaiah Thalmayer at

Funding for this guide was provided by the CA Department of Food & Agriculture Healthy Soils Program