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Quercus michauxii is often confused with:
Quercus muehlenbergii Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus nigra Form
Quercus montana Form
Quercus laurifolia Form

Cow Oak Quercus michauxii

Previously known as:

  • Quercus houstoniana
  • Quercus prinus
  • Quercus prinus var. michauxii
Phonetic Spelling
KWER-kus miss-SHOW-ee-eye
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Swamp Chestnut Oak is a native deciduous tree that may grow 60 to 80 feet tall. The dense crown is rounded with an irregular spread. It is native to swampy areas and low woodlands of the southeastern coastal plain and the Mississippi river valley. Its preference is for moist, well-drained, acidic sandy to silty clay loams in full sun to part sun. It tolerates wet soils and occasional flooding. 

Chestnut Oak is adaptable to urban conditions and makes a great shade tree for a larger yard or park. As with most native oaks, it is a high-value wildlife plant.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Insects, Diseases, or 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 resistant to oak wilt. Potential insect pests include scale, oak skeletonizer, leaf miner, galls, oak lace bugs, borers, caterpillars and nut weevils.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#poisonous#full sun#partial shade#wildlife plant#partial sun#native tree#moths#tree#spring flowers#ducks#flowering tree#low lying area#stream banks#moist soil#food source#NC native#well-drained soil#black bears#full sunlight#deer resistant#woodpeckers#blue jays#acorns#nighttime garden#fire resistant#mountains#oak tree#sunshine#spring interest#Braham Arboretum#larval host plant#food source fall#pond edge#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#rocky soils tolerant#fruits#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#butterfly larvae#fruits early fall#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:
    michauxii
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood is used in many kinds of construction; for agricultural implements, wheels, veneer, boards, fence posts, tight cooperage, baskets and fuel. It has commercial uses as fencepost and furniture, as well.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States
    Distribution:
    Found along the eastern United States, far north as Maine, south into northern Florida and west into Texas.
    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. Acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, rough grouse, ducks, small mammals, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and black bears.
    Play Value:
    Shade
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Wildlife Nesting
    Edibility:
    Acorns are edible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Open
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    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 pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Acorns are 1 to 1.5 inches long, sessile, and are usually produced singly or in clusters of 2 or 3. 1/3 to 1/2 is covered by a hairy, grey to brown scaly cup. These acorns are sweet-tasting and can be eaten from the tree unlike other acorns. Acorns are typically not produced until the tree reaches 20-25 years old. In North Carolina, the acorns are available from September to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Male pollen flowers in slender yellow catkins to 2-4" long and female flowers in very short few-flowered reddish spikes. Both grow on the same tree (monoecious). In North Carolina, flowers are available in April.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Velvety
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Lobed
    Sinuate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Up to 9 inch long oval simple leaves which are shiny green above and grey-green pubescent on the undersides. Margins are wavy with rounded teeth that are also sometimes described as small lobes. Orange-yellow to yellow-brown to dark red fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Peeling
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Bark Description:
    The bark is light gray with deep v-shaped furrows producing broad, flaky ridges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    New growth is green, progressing to brown during the first winter and turning gray during the second year.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Erosion
    Fire
    Wet Soil
    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:
    Leaves
    Seeds