Quercus ellipsoidalis ∙ Northern Pin Oak

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Latin Name: Quercus ellipsoidalis
Common Name: Northern Pin Oak, Hill's Oak

Quercus ellipsoidalis range map

Family: Fagaceae
Division: Red
Native range: Northern midwest
Introduced: 1902
Sun/Shade: Sun
Height × Width: 50-60'
Zones: 4-6

Form: cylindrical shape and rounded crown

Flower: males on 1½ to 4" green catkins from bud clusters at the tip of the previous season's growth. Female flowers in the leaf axils of new growth.

Leaves: Dark green leaves (3-7” long) have 5-9 deeply incised, bristle-tipped lobes.
Oval or elliptic to nearly round, 2¾ to 5½ inches long and almost as wide on a ¾ to 1¾"petiole. 2 to 4 primary, finger-like lobes on each side, with 2-5, sharply pointed secondary lobes at the tips. The sinuses between the lobes are more often broad and rounded, extending over half way or nearly to the central vein. Upper is deep green and glossy, lower is dull, light green with bits of fine hair where the lateral veins and the central vein meet. Fall color is deep maroon to rusty red; can be brilliantly scarlet-tinged. Then turning a dull, light brown and often persisting until spring bud break.

Fruit: Acorn, ½-¾", ellipsoidal, cap covers 1/3- 1/2, brownish with striate lines.


Bark: Smooth gray-black to dark brown bark, usually ridged when older.

Wildlife: Acorns are food for deer, bears, squirrels, small rodents and some birds.

Disease issues:

Euro-American Cultural Uses:

Indigenous Cultural Uses:
Menomini: Roasted acorn ground for beverage.


"Northern midwest version of Q. palustris without the inherent chlorosis problem." — Michael Dirr
Acorns are longer and narrower than Pin Oak.
Drought tolerant
2013 GreatPlants® winner

Where to find Quercus ellipsoidalis in Maxwell Arboretum:

Quercus ellipsoidalis location map

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Quercus ellipsoidalis foliage
Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, location unknown

Quercus ellipsoidalis fall foliage
Fall Foliage
Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, location unknown

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