Water Oak


Leaves and acorns

Introduction

A favorite nesting tree for plenty of animals, the water oak enjoys growing near rivers and lakes but can be planted in other types of soil. With proper care and maintenance these trees can grow to a magnificent height and provide significant value to the area.

Common Name

Water oak

Latin Name

Quercus nigra

Leaf

Alternate, simple, extremely variable in shape, may have zero to 5 lobes; margins may be entire or bristle-tipped

Flower

Male flowers borne on catkins; female flowers borne on spikes, appearing with the leaves

Fruit/nut

Acorns: 1/2 inch long, very dark in color, and a third covered by a flattened cap with appressed scales

Twig/branches

Slender, red-brown; buds short, sharp-pointed, angular, red-brown, multiple at the tip

Bark

Dark and quite tight, smooth when young and later with irregular rough patches; much later developing wide, scaly ridges

Form

Slender bole and rounded crown with ascending branches

Size

Commonly grows to around 100 feet tall

Native Range

Native to the southeastern United States, from south Virginia to central Florida and as far west as Texas

Type

Medium-sized deciduous tree

Seasonal Colors

Leaves turn yellow in the fall

Soil

Adapted to wet, swampy areas, but can also tolerate other well-drained sites and even heavy, compacted soils

Light

Very intolorent of shade

Similar Species

Willow oak, laurel oak, shingle oak, Darlington oak

Pests and Diseases

Generally no serious pests, but anthracnose and mushroom root rot can cause problems if not treated promptly.

Rebate Eligibility

$100

Of Note

The tree is relatively short-lived compared to other oaks and may live only 60 to 80 years.

Photo Credits

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