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Quercus laevis is often confused with:
Quercus falcata Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus incana Form
Quercus michauxii Form
Quercus montana Form

Turkey Oak Quercus laevis

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Turkey Oak:

Phonetic Spelling
KWER-kus LYE-viss
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The native Turkey Oak can grow as a small tree or shrub. Its native habitat is dry sandy and well-drained soils on ridges in the southeastern coastal plain, such as Carolina bay rims, old beach dunes, early Cenozoic deposits of the Sandhills Province, or inland from the coastal plain on dry ridges and slopes over quartzite or other acidic rock types. It commonly occurs as an understory tree of long-leaf pine forests. It is often considered a weed tree. The stout, spreading branches form a broad, irregular-shaped crown. The foliage is deeply and narrowly lobed causing the leaves with 3 lobes to resemble a turkey foot. Leaves are deciduous, but the brightly colored fall foliage stays on the tree well into winter.

The height of 30-40 feet makes this tree able to be used as a shade for smaller yards in well-drained sites of the coastal and Piedmont areas.  It is mildly resistant to browsing by deer and drought tolerant.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Oaks, in general, are susceptible to a large number of diseases, including chestnut blight, shoestring root rot, anthracnose, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots, and powdery mildew.  This tree is highly susceptible to oak wilt. Potential insect pests include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils.

NOTE: The non-native Quercus cerris is also called Turkey Oak.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#shrub#wildlife plant#partial sun#native tree#moths#tree#spring flowers#coastal#food source#NC native#deer resistant#nighttime garden#fire resistant#oak#larval host plant#food source fall#sandhills#food source herbage#sandy soils tolerant#dry soil#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#dry soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#larval host tree#pollinator garden#problem for horses#audubon#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#shrub#wildlife plant#partial sun#native tree#moths#tree#spring flowers#coastal#food source#NC native#deer resistant#nighttime garden#fire resistant#oak#larval host plant#food source fall#sandhills#food source herbage#sandy soils tolerant#dry soil#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#dry soils tolerant#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#larval host tree#pollinator garden#problem for horses#audubon#moth larva#banded hairstreak butterfly#gray hairstreak butterfly#imperial moth#juvenal’s duskywing butterfly#edward’s hairstreak butterfly#white-m hairstreak butterfly#horace’s duskywing butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    laevis
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood is used for fuel or rough construction.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South East U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , VA
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Oak trees support a wide variety of Lepidopteran. You may see Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed. Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus), which have one flight from June-August everywhere but Florida where they emerge April-May. Edward's Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii), has one flight from May-July in the south and June-July in the north. Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), has three to four flights in the south from February-November and two flights in the north from May-September. White-M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) has three broods in the north from February-October. Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) has three broods in Texas and the deep south from January-November, and two broods in the north from April-September. Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) has one brood from April-June, appearing as early as January in Florida. Provides cover for wildlife and many birds and mammals eat the acorns.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Wildlife Nesting
    Edibility:
    Acorns are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Acorn is brown and 1 inch long with a cap that is thin, reddish-brown with fuzzy scales enclosing about 1/3 of nut. Fruits appear from September-October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Male flowers are in drooping elongated clusters. Female flowers are sessile or short-stalked in the axils of the leaves. Blooms appear in April.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Deltoid
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    4 to 8 in. alternate, simple leaves with 3 to 7 bristle-tipped lobes. They are shiny green above and paler with a few red hairs along the midvein below. Fall color is red to red-brown and may last well into winter. Leaves hang perpendicular to the ground. The 3-lobed leaves resemble a turkey foot.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Bark Description:
    Dark grey to black mature bark is deeply furrowed with irregular ridges, reddish inner bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Chestnut brown to grey stems with a few hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Salt
    Wind
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Abdominal pain, constipation then diarrhea (occasionally bloody), depression, frequent urination, discolored urine, jaundice; acorns can obstruct the digestive tract
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves