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QUERCUS prinus

Image of Quercus prinus

Jesse Saylor

Family

Fagaceae

Botanical Name

QUERCUS prinus

Plant Common Name

Basket Oak, Chestnut Oak

General Description

Toothed, chestnut-like leaves and deeply furrowed, scaly bark are among the notable characteristics of this medium to large deciduous tree. It is native to rocky slopes of eastern North America. Some botanical references (including "Flora of North America") refer to this species as Quercus montana.

The oval to lance-shaped, bluntly toothed leaves of chestnut oak emerge bronze- or orange-green, soon changing to lustrous dark-green with pale undersides. Fall color is dull brownish-orange. Long dangling chain-like clusters (catkins) of yellow-green male flowers appear at the branch-tips as the leaves unfurl in mid-spring. Short spikes of small reddish female flowers are borne in the axils of emerging shoots. Shiny, chestnut-brown, egg-shaped acorns ripen in fall, providing forage for wildlife. The upper half of each acorn is nested within a scaly, bowl-shaped "cupule," which separates from the acorn at maturity.

Grow chestnut oak in full to partial sun and deep, well-drained soil. This beautiful and adaptable shade and street tree is straight-trunked and full-crowned when grown in moist fertile soil. In dry, poor soils it forms a smaller, crooked-trunked tree.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    50'-80' / 15.2m - 24.4m

  • Width

    40'-65' / 12.2m - 19.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    North America, United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Red, Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green, Yellow Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Orange, Brown

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Corky

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes