Signs of spring are everywhere here in Portland. But most deciduous trees are still bare or are only beginning to show a slow transition of tiny buds to leaves. What I love about broadleaf evergreens is the immediate gratification of their lush foliage. No patient waiting, checking daily for the fulfillment of spring’s greening promise.
The leaves on this tree sparkled in the sunshine last week at Meek Professional Technical High School arboretum. This tree is Quercus hypoleucoides, aptly named silverleaf oak. This light-reflecting and very eye-pleasing quality is a result of dense coat of white downy fuzz on the leaf undersides.
My own bias here, but I think that if more people knew about silverleaf oak (or if it were more widely available), we’d be seeing a lot fewer eucalyptus trees outgrowing their tiny front yard sites, leaning precariously over rooftops, or getting entangled in overhead wires. This tree has a similar ornamental effect – shimmering evergreen leaves, on a fairly fast growing tree in full sun, but to an ultimate height that is more friendly for urban gardens, about 25 feet. Drought tolerant too.
Foliage Follow-up occurs on the day after Bloom Day each month. Be sure to visit host Pam Penick at digging for more foliage fun.