Chinkapin Oak



The deep green color of the chinkapin oak makes it a regal and lush species of tree to grace parks and fields. Its broad and low base also provides excellent shade.

Common Name

Chinkapin oak

Latin Name

Quercus muehlenbergii


Alternate, simple, obovate or oblong; large coarse gland tipped teeth on margin; 4 to 7 inches long; dark, shiny green above, much paler below


Male flowers are yellow-green long catkins, females are green to reddish, very small in leaf axils.


Acorn: broadest below the middle; thin bowl-shaped cap covers about a third of acorn and forms a tattered fringe on the margin of cap; dark brown when mature


Slender to moderate, orange-brown; buds cluster at branch tips


Thin, light gray, rough and flaky


Rounded shallow crown with broad base


Commonly reaches around 60 feet tall and 50 to 60 feet wide

Native Range

Native to eastern and central North America, ranging from Vermont west to Wisconsin and south to South Carolina, western Florida, and New Mexico


Medium-sized deciduous tree

Seasonal Colors

Deep green color in summer, turning to a yellow-bronze tint in the fall


Weakly acid to alkaline, well-drained upland soils derived from limestone


Full sun is best, as the species is intolerant of shade

Similar Species

Chestnut oak, swamp white oak, swamp chestnut oak, American chestnut

Pests and Diseases

Oak wilt, a vascular disease, attacks chinkapin oak and usually kills the tree within two to four years. The most serious defoliating insects that attack chinkapin oak are the gypsy moth, the orange-striped oakworm and the variable oakleaf caterpillar.

Rebate Eligibility


Of Note

The chinkapin oak is especially known for its sweet and palatable acorns, which are the sweetest among all the oaks and are edible and nutritious for both humans and wildlife.

Photo Credits

Mary Tricia
Mary Tricia(2)
Mary Tricia(3)