- Common Name(s):
- Post oak
- Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Quercus stellata, commonly called post oak, is a medium-sized deciduous oak of the white oak group that typically grows 35-50’ tall with a rounded crown. It is called post oak because its durable wood has been used for fence posts. It is commonly found on lower mountain slopes and coastal plains in the southeastern and southcentral U.S. The bark is scaly in younger trees. As the tree ages, a more blocky and a rigid appearance develops.
Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains
Seasons of Interest:
Leaves: Fall Blooms: Early spring Nut/Fruit/Seed: Fall
Wildlife Value: This tree is mildly resistant to damage by deer. It is a host plant for the Banded Hairstreak, Edward's Hairstreak, Grey Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Horace's Duskywing, and Juvanals Duskywing butterflies. The acorns are eaten by woodpeckers, blue jays, small mammals, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and black bear.
Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Oaks 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.
- 40-50 ft.
- The Post oak has insignificant yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins that appear in the spring as the leaves emerge. The fruits are oval acorns (to 3/4” long), with bowl-shaped cups extending 1/3 to 1/2 the acorn length. The acorn requires one growing season to reach maturity.
- The Post oak grows best in rich, moist, acidic, well-drained loams in full sun. It adapts to a wide variety of soil conditions from poor dry sandy soils to moist heavy loams, but refers acidic soils.
- Dense rounded crown; stout spreading branches
- Poison Part:
- Acorns (seeds of nuts) and young leaves.
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Stomach pain, constipation and later bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination
- Acorns (nuts) are edible after tannins are leached or boiled out. Only collect nuts from areas you know.
- Toxic Principle:
- Gallotannins, quercitrin, and quercitin.
- CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
- Found in:
- Forest or natural areas; landscape as ornamental and shade trees.
- 35-50 ft.
- Growth Rate:
- The leaves of the Post oak are rough and often leathery. They are alternate, simple and dark green (4-8” long) with 3-5 rounded lobes that have a cruciform appearance due to large wide-spreading central lobes. This tree has variable fall color, from non-showy to golden brown. The leaves persist into winter.
NCCES plant id: 2180