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Chinkapin OakQuercus muehlenbergii

  • Chinkapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii
  • Chinkapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii
  • Chinkapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii
  • Chinkapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii
  • Chinkapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergii

With its strong branches and interesting leaves, the chinkapin oak makes a beautiful statement. This conversation piece of a tree is worthy of a prominent place in any larger lawn, estate or park.

The magnificent oak also adds to the ambiance by drawing a variety of wildlife with its acorns. In fact, chinkapin acorns are the food of choice for many animals.


Hardiness Zones

The chinkapin oak can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–7. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a shade tree and an ornamental tree. It features a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight and adds visual interest and beauty to landscaping.

Mature Size

The chinkapin oak grows to a height of 40–50' and a spread of 50–60' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow to Medium Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow to medium rate, with height increases of anywhere from less than 12" to 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The chinkapin oak grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils. It tolerates wet conditions and some drought but does best in well-drained areas that do not experience severe drought.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Features simple, oblong to oblong-lanceolate leaves that are dark yellowish green, coarsely toothed and 4–6½" in length. Fall color varies from yellow to orangish-brown to brown.
  • Adapts to many soil conditions.
  • Yields 1" round acorns that mature in the first year.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.

Wildlife Value

Chinkapin oak acorns are the preferred food for wild turkeys, grouse, white-tailed deer, black bears, chipmunks, squirrels and hogs. Cattle will eat the leaves.

History/Lore

The chinkapin oak is also commonly referred to as a yellow chestnut oak, rock oak or yellow oak. Early pioneers used its straight wood to make thousands of miles of fences in the states of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Later on, the trees were used to fuel the steamships that ran from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. They were also used as railroad ties for the new railroads that crisscrossed the Midwest.