Pin oak

Seasonal colors


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.

This tree is eligible for a $100 Tree Rebate.

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

Common Name
Pin oak

Latin Name
Quercus palustris

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*

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

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

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

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

Very pyramidal in form that narrows at the top

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

Medium-sized deciduous tree

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

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

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

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