Botanical Name: Quercus gambelii
Common Name: Gambel Oak  
Plant photo of: Quercus gambelii
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Water Saving Tip:

Check the soil's moisture level before watering.

You can reduce your water use 20-50% by regularly checking the soil before watering.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Tree, Shrub


Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Dark Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season

Summer, Fall





Very Low, Low


Growth Rate

Moderate, Slow


Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish, Woodland


Accenting Features

Fall Color, Multi-trunk Tree, Silhouette


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Shrub Border, Patio, Raised Planter, Walls / Fences


Special Uses

Screen, Mass Planting, Shade Tree, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife

Birds, Butterflies

Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Mountain States Nursery
  • Description

  • Notes

Gambel oak is a lovely, deciduous tree native to Utah and the Intermountain West. It grows about 15 to 20 feet tall and wide, as either a multi-stemmed tree or a large shrub, depending on the site and maintenance. Leaves are large and symmetrically lobed; they emerge in spring a reddish brown, turn a rich, glossy green, and then golden yellow to maroon in the fall. Older bark is knarled and provides a beautiful winter silhouette. Acorns are small and ripen and drop in autumn. Underplant with creeping oregon grape for a low-maintenance grouping. A Utah native.
Grow in well drained soil in full sun; adapts to loamy, rich soils or poorer, dry soils. Grow rate is medium, but depends on water availability, though it is quite drought tolerant and manages on an annual precipitation of 15 to 20 inches, it will grow faster if provided with periodic summer irrigation. Plant oaks from spring through late summer, but generally not after September as they are slow to establish. Will form colonies through root sprouts. Plant the smallest tree you can endure, as it will establish more quickly. A Utah native.