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Quercus velutina Quercus velutina

Common Name(s):

  • Black Oak
Description

Quercus velutina, commonly called the Black oak, is a large deciduous tree native to the eastern United States and Canada in the Fagaceae family.  It is similar to red oak (Quercus rubra) and may sometimes hybridize it.  Looking at the buds will help distinguish the two as red oak has smaller hairless buds and black oaks are larger and are covered in a dense, gray pubescence. Mature bark is ridged and almost black; the inner bark is yellow-orange. Makes a great shade tree for lawns or parks or a street tree.  Tolerates being planted near black walnut trees.

Seasons of Interest:

       Foliage: Fall    Nut:  Fall Bark: Winter

 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Insect problems include borers, galls,  leaf miner, oak lace bugs, oak skeletonizer, and scales. The following diseases can occasionally be a problem:  chestnut blight, shoestring root rot, anthracnose, oak leaf blister, cankers, leaf spots, and powdery mildew.  This tree is highly susceptible to oak wilt.  It can be difficult to transplant because of a long taproot.  

Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#bark#wildlife plant#low maintenance#host plant#showy fruit#fall interest#street tree#black walnut#low flammability#fire resistant
Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#bark#wildlife plant#low maintenance#host plant#showy fruit#fall interest#street tree#black walnut#low flammability#fire resistant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Quercus
    Species:
    velutina
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern United States, southeastern Canada
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Banded Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Dustywing, and Juvenal's Duskywing butterflies.  The acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, small mammals, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and black bears.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire and moderately resistant to damage from deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 50 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    They are followed by elliptic acorns (to 3/4” long) saucer-shaped acorn cups that cover up to 1/2 of the acorn body. After trees mature large crops of acorns are cyclical, appearing every 2 to 3 years. The acorn requires two growing seasons to reach maturity.
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    The Black Oak has insignificant, monoecious, greenish-yellow catkins in April-May.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Hairy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The Black Oak has alternate leaves with 5 (mostly) to 7 bristle-tipped lobes and a hairy underside (especially leaves on young trees). The leaves are leathery, shiny, and dark green (to 10” long). They turn yellow to yellow-brown to dull red in fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Mature bark is ridged and almost black; the inner bark is yellow-orange.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil