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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
Ulmus americana Full Form

Cow Oak Quercus michauxii

Previously known as:

  • Quercus houstoniana
  • Quercus prinus
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. This tree is adaptable to urban conditions. It prefers to grow in bottomland forests, especially in fertile soils where flooding occurs in short periods. 

Chestnut Oak makes a great shade tree for a larger yard or park and has high wildlife benefits.

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.

 

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#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#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#birds#butterfly larvae#fruits early fall#larval host tree
  • 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:
    Host plant for Banded Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Duskywing, Juvenal's Duskywing butterflies and many moths. Acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, rough grouse, ducks, small mammals, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and black bears.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    Acorns are edible once the tannins are leached or boiled out.
    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
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b
  • 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 1.3 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 once the tannins have been leached out. Acorns are typically not produced until the tree reaches 20-25 years old and produced until age 40. 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 11 inch long leaves which are shiny green above and grey-green pubescent on the undersides. Margins are wavy with rounded teeth. Leaves are simple with rounded simple teeth and 15-20 lobes. Orange-yellow to yellow-brown to dark red fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Peeling
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Bark Description:
    The bark is dark reddish-brown to dark gray. Mature bark has 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
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Erosion
    Fire
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds