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Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii (Gambel’s Oak)
Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Foothills, montane. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring, summer.
Top of page: Highway 145 north of Dolores, early October.
Nature Preserve at Butler Corner, October 11, 2016.
Immediately above: Mesa Verde National Park, October 4, 2017.

From 1996 to 2002, almost 30,000 acres of Mesa Verde burned. All the Conifers in the path of the fire were destroyed. The conifers will only repopulate the area from seeds, a process that will take centuries. Although the Oaks (Quercus gambelii) suffered the same massive destruction, their root system was not harmed and in the years following the fires thickets of Oaks grew around the trees that fire destroyed.

 
Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii

Quercus gambelii (Gambelís Oak)
Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Foothills, montane. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring, summer.
Madden Peak Road, July 19, 2008.
Bear Creek Trail, October 4, 2007.

Acorns develop slowly through the summer.  Fall colors are blends of browns, reds, yellows, and greens.  After a long summer, only dots of chlorophyll remain on the red leaf below while the chlorophyll retreats along the leaf veins in the bottom photo.

Quercus gambelii
Quercus gambelii (Gambelís Oak)
Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Foothills, montane. Shrublands, woodlands. Spring, summer.
Between Ridgway and Ouray, September 16, 2001.

Shadowy Oaks tumble in shades of red below the high San Juans between Ridgway and Ouray.