Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Gambel oak
Che ch'il

Lobed leaves of Gambel oak

Gambel oak is ecologically important, providing food and shelter for many wildlife species. It occurs as clones of shrubs in dense patches 3 to 20 feet tall, often with a central thicket rising above the others. Widely spaced trees grow up to 75.5 feet tall. Bark of gambel oak is rough and furrowed.

Gambel oak may contribute up to 50% of cattle diet without cattle showing any ill effects, with poisoning occurring at higher percentages, and death often resulting when more than 75% of the diet is gambel oak. Freezing enhances toxic properties of gambel oak browse; young foliage turned black by freezing is extremely toxic.

Rough, furrowed bark of Gambel oak

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