Black Oak



The black oak is a large, stately tree that is a great nutritional source for wildlife. Its inner bark has a yellow tint to it that sometimes causes it to be called “yellow oak.”

This tree is eligible for a $100 Tree Rebate. If you’d like help with the planting, check out our RiverSmart Homes program.

Common Name
Black oak

Latin Name
Quercus velutina

Alternate, simple, ovate in shape with 5 to 7 bristle-tipped lobes; lustrous shiny green above, paler with a scruffy pubescence below

Male flowers are borne on slender yellow-green catkins; female flowers are reddish green and borne on short spikes in leaf axils

Ovoid acorns, enclosed in a bowl-shaped cap that consists of loosely-pressed scales, light brown and fuzzy

Stout and red-brown to gray-green, buds are very large, buff-colored, fuzzy, pointed and distinctly angular

At first gray and smooth, becoming thick and very rough, nearly black and deeply furrowed vertically with horizontal breaks

A medium sized tree to 80 feet with an irregular crown and a tapering trunk

Usually grows 60 to 80 feet tall

Native Range
Eastern North America from southern Ontario, south to northern Florida and southern Maine, west to northeastern Texas

Medium to large deciduous

Seasonal Colors
The black oak turns to a red-yellow color in the fall

Prefers well-drained, silty clay to loam soils

Intermediately tolerant to shade

Similar Species
Northern red oak, scarlet oak, Shumard oak, cherrybark oak

Pests and Diseases
Oak wilt is a potentially serious vascular disease, and shoestring root rot attacks black oak and may kill trees weakened by fire. The gypsy moth feeds on foliage and is potentially the most destructive insect.

Rebate Eligibility

Of Note
Historically, the inner bark was important for its tannin and as a source of yellow dye.

Photo Credits

Jason Sturner 72
sandy richard
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