5 April 2023
Black Oak was the name of an old mercury mine high in the northeastern corner of Sonoma County. Why the mine was named for this tree is unknown, but Black oaks are found throughout the county, so it’s quite likely there was one growing nearby, perhaps supplying a welcome pool of shade on a hot day.
Right now, Black oaks are sprouting new leaves. If you take a close look, you’ll find the emerging foliage in striking shades of pink and red — colors you’d expect to see on a wildflower, rather than an oak tree.
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