Quercus montana ▪︎ Chestnut Oak

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Latin Name: Quercus montana (previously Quercus prinus)
Common Name: Chestnut Oak

Quercus montana range map

Range: eastern U.S. and Canada
Family: Fagaceae
Division: White
Introduced: cultivated by 1688
Height: 60'-70' × same
Form: pyramidal-oval-rounded when young, rounded with age
Zones: 4-8

Flower: male: 2-4" catkins, female: reddish, small single spikes

Leaves: Give the tree its common name as they are similarly-shaped as American Chestnut leaves. 4"-6" × 1½"-3½", coarsely and regularly lobed, 10-14 pairs, lustrous dark yellow-green above and grayish tomentose beneath.

Fall Color: Dull yellow to yellow-brown.

Fruit: Acorns, 1-2 on peduncles, ovoid; 1-1¼" × ¾", cap covers 1/3-½, dark brown, thin, and warty; one season to maturity.

Buds: 1/4-3/8", conical, grayish, reddish brown, slightly pubescent.

Bark: brown to almost black, looking corky; very smooth when young; developing hard, wide, flat-topped ridges, becoming thicker and sharper with age; richer in tannin than any other oak species.

Wildlife: Acorns eaten by upland game birds and songbirds, a wide range of large and small mammals (Black Bear, Raccoon, Fox Squirrel, Gray Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Southern Flying Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk, and White-Footed Mouse.) Deer browse on the twigs and foliage, particularly of saplings. Older trees can provide habitat for cavity-nesting birds (e.g., woodpeckers, owls, & chickadees) and dens for small mammals (squirrels, bats, raccoons).

Disease issues:

Cultural Uses: acorns ground for food by indigenous peoples


Notes: Poor, dry, rocky upland sites

Where to find Quercus montana in Maxwell Arboretum

Quercus montana location map


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