Pin oak


Seasonal colors

Introduction

Pin oaks are one of the most common shade trees because of how easy they are to transplant and propagate. They grow strong and upright and have a distinctive layering of branches that sets them apart from other oaks.

More detail: Pin oak’s Tree of the Month.

Common Name

Pin oak

Latin Name

Quercus palustris

Leaf

Alternate, simple, 3 to 6 inches long, oval in outline with 5 to 9 bristle-tipped lobes; major lobes form a U-shape; bright green above and pale below with axillary tifts*

Flower

Male flowers are borne on slender, drooping yellow-green catkins*; female flowers are reddish green and borne on short spikes

Fruit/nut

Acorns have a thin and saucer-like cap, covered with red-brown scales

Twig/branches

Slender, reddish brown in color and quite lustrous with multiple terminal buds that are small, pointed, and chestnut brown

Bark

Grayish brown and very tight and thin; remains smooth for many years, eventually develops thin ridges and furrows

Form

Very pyramidal in form that narrows at the top

Size

Normally grows 60 to 70 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 3 feet

Native Range

Mostly ranges from eastern United States from Connecticut west to eastern Kansas, south to Georgia

Type

Medium-sized deciduous tree

Seasonal Colors

Leaves are dark green in summer, russet brown or dark red in fall

Soil

Primarily level or nearly level poorly drained alluvial* floodplain and river bottom soils with high clay content

Light

Intolerant of shade

Similar Species

Scarlet oak, nuttall oak, black oak, northern red oak

Pests and Diseases

One of the most common problems with this species is chlorosis which develops when soil pH is over 7. Common diseases include bacterial leaf scorch, cankers and root rot.

Rebate Eligibility

$100

Of Note

The bark was used by some Native American tribes to make a drink for treatment of intestinal pain.

The name “pin oak” is possibly due to the many small, slender twigs, but may also be from the historical use of the hard wood for pins in wooden building construction.

Photo Credits

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