Peter J. Shields Oak Grove

The oak grove is only one part of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Gardens. There are other gardens and collections, including a native plants garden, desert collection, redwood grove and pollinator garden.  The arboretum also abuts the Putah Creek Riparian Reserve.  Each facet is accessible through different streets with varying parking availability.  On this page, we’ll be talking about the oak grove only.

Easy to Locate? Yes
Pet Friendly? Yes. Dogs MUST be on a leash.
Easy to Walk? Yes. Paved walkways and well-maintained trails. Zero to very little elevation gain.
Is there a Fee? Yes.  Parking on campus costs $10/day on weekdays. Only Visa or Master Card credit cards may be used to obtain a parking permit from machines in Visitor Parking lots. The permit may be used in all Visitor Parking lots on campus. Parking is free on weekends and holidays.
Are there Restrooms? Yes. This grove boasts a restroom facility covered in elaborate mosaic murals.
Is there Accessible Parking? Yes.
Other Notes: Most of the walkways are shaded by the trees,which can get up to 200 feet tall. Because of the number of hybrids in the grove, this is NOT one of the best places to see insect galls.

See my FLICKR account for more albums of photos taken at this location.

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More than 80 kinds of oaks are found in the grove, including a collection of oaks native to the western United States and many trees that are rare in cultivation and/or come from different parts of the world. The Arboretum’s oak collection is part of the national oak collection through the North American Plant Collections Consortium and is named for Judge Peter J. Shields, one of the founders of the UC Davis campus.

Walkways are either paved or hard-pack dirt and are well-maintained. Along with the tree there are large lawn areas and access to the “Moon Garden” (of all white flowers), a large gazebo, and the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden. It’s also adjacent to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery.

Here’s a self-guide to the oak grove in PDF.

How to Get to the Grove:

From Sacramento
• Take I-80 West
• Take Exit 71 toward the University of California at Davis (UCD)
• Turn RIGHT onto Old Davis Road
• At the traffic circle TAKE THE 2ND exit onto La Rue Road
• Turn LEFT to stay on La Rue
• Turn LEFT onto Garrod Drive
• Turn LEFT onto Veterinary Medicine Drive
• You’ll see a large parking lot on the right. The grove will be at the end of the parking lot.

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist

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