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QUERCUS prinoides

Image of Quercus prinoides

James Burghardt

Family

Fagaceae

Botanical Name

QUERCUS prinoides

Plant Common Name

Dwarf Chinkapin Oak, Scrub Chestnut Oak

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A small deciduous oak, dwarf chinkapin is a favorite foodsource of wildlife because of its less bitter-tasting acorns, and the brilliant orange-red fall leaves isn't a disappoint either! Native of dry, acidic outcroppings and grasslands, this species' range is from New Hampshire to Iowa and Oklahoma in the interior eastcentral United States, including the southernmost tip of Ontario. It sometimes spreads via rhizomes (underground stems) to form small thickets. The gray bark is thin, flaky and papery.

The small oval leaves are glossy green above and lighter green and lightly hairy on undersides. Leaf edges have three to eight pairs of short rounded teeth. Male flowers appear in spring on the bare branches as pendent clusters (catkins), following shortly thereafter by small reddish female flowers at the bases of the newly emerging leaves. Wind pollinated, this oak starts bearing its light brown fruits (acorns) at an early age and consistently each year. Its acorns are a delicacy for a wide array of song and game birds, bears, deer and various large rodents. In autumn the foliage attains an outstanding orange-red display.

Grow dwarf chinkapin oak in full sun to partial shade in a well-draining, fertile and deep soil that is gritty and not alkaline. Sometimes more of a shrub than a small tree, it can be used as a windbreak barrier, or naturalistic accent in a mixed shrub border. It is a must-have for properties wishing to sustain populations of wild turkeys, bear, deer and raccoons.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m

  • Width

    12'-20' / 3.7m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Red, Yellow Green, Light Green

  • Fruit Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes