Overview

Brief Summary

Fagaceae -- Beech family

    John J. Stransky

    Post oak (Quercus stellata), sometimes called iron oak, is  a medium-sized tree abundant throughout the Southeastern and  South Central United States where it forms pure stands in the  prairie transition area. This slow-growing oak typically occupies  rocky or sandy ridges and dry woodlands with a variety of soils  and is considered drought resistant. The wood is very durable in  contact with soil and used widely for fenceposts, hence, the   name. Due to varying leaf shapes and acorn sizes, several  varieties of post oak have been recognized-sand post oak (Q.  stellata var. margaretta (Ashe) Sarg.), and Delta  post oak (Quercus stellata var. paludosa Sarg.)  are included here.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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John J. Stransky

Source: Silvics of North America

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Quercus stellata is an oak in the white oak group. It is a small tree, typically 10–15 m tall and 30–60 cm trunk diameter, though occasional specimens reach 30 m tall and 140 cm diameter. It is native to the eastern United States, from Connecticut in the northeast, to central Texas in the southwest. It is one of the most common oaks in the southern part of the eastern prairies, such as in the Cross Timbers.

Quercus stellata is often identified by its commonly cross-shaped leaf form, particularly in the eastern part of its range. All individuals and populations do not express this characteristic, however. Moreover, Q . stellata has broad overlap with Q . margaretta and even with some forms of the blackjack oak, Q . marilandica, one of its most common associates. The thick yellowish twigs with indument of stellate hairs and the dense harsh stellate hairs on the abaxial leaf surface are better diagnostic characteristics when variation includes leaf forms that are not obviously cruciform.

  • "Quercus stellata." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 8 Sep 2011, 06:42 UTC. 14 Nov 2011 .
  • Flora of North America Vol. 3 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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© Nathan Wilson

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Comprehensive Description

Quercus stellata Wangenh.

Distribution

Upland forests and woodlands.

Notes

Apr; Sep–Nov (of same year). Not seen in Shaken Creek Preserve by the senior author. Specimens seen in the vicinity: Sandy Run [Neck]: Wilbur 55283 (DUKE!). [= RAB, FNA, Weakley]

  • Thornhill, Robert, Krings, Alexander, Lindbo, David, Stucky, Jon (2014): Guide to the Vascular Flora of the Savannas and Flatwoods of Shaken Creek Preserve and Vicinity (Pender & Onslow Counties, North Carolina, U. S. A.). Biodiversity Data Journal 2, 1099: 1099-1099, URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e1099
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Plazi

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Comments

Post Oak is an attractive tree that should be cultivated more often. It is relatively easy to identify because of the cruciform leaves that resemble a Maltese cross in shape. In addition, both the twigs and the leaf undersides are densely short-pubescent throughout, whereas many other species in the White Oak group have glabrous twigs and leaf undersides that are either glabrous or hairy only near the axils of major veins. In southern areas of its range (south of Illinois), Post Oak is a more variable tree and its leaves become more irregular in shape. Perhaps the most similar oak species in Illinois is Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica), which is a small upland tree with leaves that are roughly kite-shaped. As a member of the Red Oak group, however, Blackjack Oak has bristles at the tips of its leaf lobes and its acorns take 2 years to mature. The wood of Post Oak is high regarded for its strength, hardness, durability, and moisture resistance; it is fine-grained and brown-colored. As a result, the wood of this tree is used to make furniture, rail ties, mining timbers, fence posts, wooden stairways, wooden rails, floors, siding, panels, veneer, pulp, and construction lumber. It is also burned as a fuel.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This tree is 30-80' tall, forming a single trunk about 1-3½' across and a rounded crown with large branches that are ascending to widely spreading. The trunk can be short and crooked, or it can be long and straight. Smaller branches and twigs are often crooked. Trunk bark of mature trees is gray to brownish gray, rough-textured, and shallowly furrowed with flat ridges. Branch bark and larger twigs are gray and more smooth, while smaller twigs and young shoots are pale brown and densely short-pubescent. Twig buds are about 3 mm. (1/8") long, brownish, and finely short-pubescent. Alternate deciduous leaves occur along the smaller twigs and shoots. These leaves are 3-6" long and 2-4" across; they are obovate in outline with 3-7 lobes (usually with 5 lobes) and their margins are smooth to somewhat undulate. A typical 5-lobed leaf has a cruciform shape resembling a Maltese cross; there is a pair of small basal lobes that are rounded or bluntly pointed, a pair of large middle lobes that are more square-shaped (although with rounded edges), and a small terminal lobe that is bluntly square-shaped or rounded. The sinuses between the lobes are mostly concave. However, the lobes and sinuses of individual leaves can exhibit considerable irregularity. The small leaf bases can be rounded, wedge-shaped (cuneate), slightly indented (cordate), or truncate. The upper leaf surface is dark green, hairless (or nearly so), and shiny, while the lower leaf surface is whitish green, light gray, or light brown from a dense coating of short stellate hairs. The leaf texture is stiff and leathery overall. The petioles are usually less than ½" in length, pale-colored, and short-pubescent. Like other Quercus spp. (oaks), Post Oak is monoecious, producing separate male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers on the same tree. Male flowers are produced in drooping yellowish catkins about 2-4" long. Each male flower has several stamens and a cup-shaped pubescent calyx with a jagged upper rim. Female flowers are produced in tiny clusters of 2-4 near the tips of twigs. Each female flower consists of an ovoid ovary that is embedded within a pubescent calyx with 3 rectangular lobes; there are 3 reddish styles. Both male and female flowers span about 1/8" across. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring, lasting about 1-2 weeks. The flowers are cross-pollinated by the wind. Afterwards, fertile female flowers are replaced by acorns that become mature during the fall of the same year. These acorns are either solitary or they occur in pairs; they are either sessile or short-stalked (peduncles less than ¼" in length). At maturity, individual acorns are 12-18 mm. (½-¾") long and a little less across; their caps extend to about one-third of the length of the acorn. The caps have small appressed scales that are light gray or light tan and canescent, while the bodies of the acorns are light to medium brown. The meat of the acorns is white and non-bitter. While young saplings produce thick taproots, older trees have root systems that are often widely spreading. Autumn coloration of the leaves is mostly brown, sometimes with yellowish or dark reddish tints.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

The range of post oak extends from southeastern Massachusetts,  Rhode Island, southern Connecticut and extreme southeastern New  York (including Long Island); west to southeastern Pennsylvania  and West Virginia, central Ohio, southern Indiana, central  Illinois, southeastern Iowa and Missouri; south to eastern  Kansas, western Oklahoma, northwestern and central Texas; and  east to central Florida (10).

    It is a large and abundant tree in the southern Coastal Plain, the  Piedmont, and the lower slopes of the Appalachians. It is common  in the southwest and grows in pure stands in the prairie  transition region of central Oklahoma and Texas known as the "Cross  Timbers" (2).

    Sand post oak (Quercus stellata var. margaretta  (Ashe) Sarg.) ranges from southeastern Virginia, west to Missouri  and eastern Oklahoma, south to central Texas, and east to central  Florida. Delta post oak (Q. stellata var. paludosa  Sarg.) is found in bottom lands of the Mississippi River in  western Mississippi, southeast Arkansas, and Louisiana, and west  to east Texas (10).

   
  -The native range of post oak.


  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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John J. Stransky

Source: Silvics of North America

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Post Oak is native to west-central and southern Illinois, where it is occasional to locally common. Illinois lies along the northern range-limit of this tree. Habitats include upland woodlands, bluffs, upland savannas, wooded slopes, and rocky glades (including sandstone, limestone, and shale glades). Outside of Illinois, Post Oak is also found in dry sandy habitats. Sometimes this tree is cultivated in roadside and urban parks; it is also used for erosion control on exposed stony slopes. Common associates include other upland oaks (Quercus spp.), hickories (Carya spp.), and Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginianus). Post Oak is found in average to high quality habitats where the soil is dry and infertile. It is not competitive with canopy trees that dominant moist fertile sites. Post Oak is able to resprout from its root system after most wildfires.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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More info for the term: tree

Post oak is widespread in the eastern and central United States from
southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, southern Connecticut, and
extreme southeastern New York; south to central Florida; and west to
southeastern Kansas, western Oklahoma, and central Texas. In the
Midwest, it grows as far north as southeastern Iowa, central Illinois,
and southern Indiana. It is an abundant tree in coastal plains and the
Piedmont and extends into the lower slopes of the Appalachian Mountains
[47].

Delta post oak occurs in bottomlands in eastern Texas and in the
Mississippi River valley in western Mississippi, southeastern Arkansas,
and Louisiana [47].
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

14 Great Plains

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Occurrence in North America

AL AR CT DE FL GA IA IL IN KS
KY LA MA MD MS MO NC NJ NY OH
OK PA RI SC TN TX VA WV

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Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees , deciduous, to 20(-30) m. Bark light gray, scaly. Twigs yellowish or grayish, (2-)3-5 mm diam., densely stellate-pubescent. Buds reddish brown, ovoid, to 4 mm, apex obtuse or acute, sparsely pubescent. Leaves: petiole 3-15(-30) mm. Leaf blade obovate to narrowly obovate, elliptic or obtriangular, 40-150(-200) × 20-100(-120) mm, rather stiff and hard, base rounded-attenuate to cordate, sometimes cuneate, margins shallowly to deeply lobed, lobes rounded or spatulate, usually distal 2 lobes divergent at right angles to midrib in cruciform pattern, secondary veins 3-5 on each side, apex broadly rounded; surfaces abaxially yellowish green, with crowded yellowish glandular hairs and scattered minute, 6-8-rayed, appressed or semi-appressed stellate hairs, not velvety to touch, adaxially dark or yellowish green, dull or glossy, sparsely stellate, often somewhat sandpapery with harsh hairs. Acorns 1-3, subsessile or on peduncle to 6(-40) mm; cup deeply saucer-shaped, proximally rounded or constricted, 7-12(-18) mm deep × (7-)10-15(-25) mm wide, enclosing 1/4-2/3 nut, scales tightly appressed, finely grayish pubescent; nut light brown, ovoid or globose, 10-20 × 8-12(-20) mm, glabrous or finely puberulent. Cotyledons distinct.
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Description

More info for the term: tree

Post oak is a long-lived, native, deciduous tree with a crown of
horizontal branches. The varieties are distinguished by leaf shape,
acorn size, growth form, and site preferences. The typical variety
usually grows 50 to 60 feet (15.2-18.3 m) in height and 12 to 24 inches
(30-61 cm) in d.b.h. It rarely exceeds 100 feet (30.5 m) in height and
48 inches (122 cm) in d.b.h. [47]. In the drier areas of its range
(Texas), post oak is typically only 30 to 40 feet (9-12 m) tall and 15
to 18 inches (38-46 cm) in d.b.h. Post oak is slow growing and lives
300 to 400 years [24,47]. Seedlings have especially thick taproots.
Most roots develop above underlying clay horizons [47].

Delta post oak is generally larger than the typical variety, growing to
about 100 feet (30 m) in height [13,46].
  • 13. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 24. Johnson, Forrest L.; Risser, Paul G. 1975. A quantitative comparison between an oak forest and an oak savannah in central Oklahoma. Southwestern Naturalist. 20(1): 75-84. [11366]
  • 46. Simpson, Benny J. 1988. A field guide to Texas trees. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press. 372 p. [11708]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Quercus minor (Marshall) Sargent; Q. obtusiloba Michaux
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Type Information

Isotype for Quercus stellata var. attenuata Sarg.
Catalog Number: US 1325222
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. H. Kellogg
Year Collected: 1909
Locality: Arkansas post., Arkansas, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Sargent, C. S. 1918. Bot. Gaz. 65: 437.
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Type collection for Quercus stellata var. parviloba Sarg.
Catalog Number: US 2216351
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): E. J. Palmer
Year Collected: 1916
Locality: Brownwood., Brown, Texas, United States, North America
  • Type collection: Sargent, C. S. 1918. Bot. Gaz. 65: 438.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Post Oak is native to west-central and southern Illinois, where it is occasional to locally common. Illinois lies along the northern range-limit of this tree. Habitats include upland woodlands, bluffs, upland savannas, wooded slopes, and rocky glades (including sandstone, limestone, and shale glades). Outside of Illinois, Post Oak is also found in dry sandy habitats. Sometimes this tree is cultivated in roadside and urban parks; it is also used for erosion control on exposed stony slopes. Common associates include other upland oaks (Quercus spp.), hickories (Carya spp.), and Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginianus). Post Oak is found in average to high quality habitats where the soil is dry and infertile. It is not competitive with canopy trees that dominant moist fertile sites. Post Oak is able to resprout from its root system after most wildfires.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: mesic

Post oak occurs primarily on dry uplands with southerly or westerly
exposures [47] but may occur on terraces of smaller streams in
well-drained soil [23]. Post oak is common to about 2,950 feet (900 m)
in elevation throughout its range and rare to about 4,920 feet (1,500 m)
in the southern Appalachian Mountains [13,47].

The soils are usually shallow, well-drained, coarse-textured, and
deficient in nutrients and organic matter. It commonly grows in
serpentine soils [56,58]. Post oak is often restricted to sites where a
heavy clay subsurface layer is within 1 foot (0.3 m) of the surface or
bedrock is within 2 to 3 feet (0.6-0.9 m) of the surface [25]. It may
grow in shallow sand overlying beds of clay or gravel, but the typical
variety of post oak appears to be restricted from deep sands [35]. Post
oak grows on drier clayhills that formerly supported longleaf pine
(Pinus palustris) [36].

Post oak occurs on sites too dry for white oak and southern red oak (Q.
falcata) [38], but on slightly more mesic sites than blackjack oak [11]
or eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) [17]. Generally, excessive
soil moisture and inundation cause high mortality or severe stress to
post oak [6]; however, it dominates some flatwoods in southern Indiana
that are moist in the winter [9].

Delta post oak occurs in rich, moist bottomlands, usually on the highest
first bottom ridges and terraces. Soils are fine, sandy loam [13,47].

In addition to those species mentioned in Distribution and Occurrence,
less common overstory associates of post oak include hickories (Carya
spp.), southern red oak, scarlet oak, bluejack oak, live oak, shingle
oak (Q. imbricaria), chinkapin oak (Q. muehlenbergii), bluejack oak,
Shumard oak (Q. shumardii), blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), sourwood
(Oxydendrum arboreum), red maple (Acer rubrum), winged elm (Ulmus
alata), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), and dogwood (Cornus spp.) [47].

Overstory associates of Delta post oak include green ash (Fraxinus
pennsylvanica), white ash (F. americana), white oak, water oak,
blackgum, sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), American elm (Ulmus
americana), winged elm, American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana),
American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), black willow (Salix nigra),
and hickories [46,47].
  • 11. Dooley, Karen L.; Collins, Scott L. 1984. Ordination and classification of western oak forests in Oklahoma. American Journal of Botany. 71(9): 1221-1227. [11543]
  • 13. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 17. Fralish, James S. 1976. Forest site-community relationships in the Shawnee Hills region, southern Illinois. In: Fralish, James S.; Weaver, George T.; Schlesinger, Richard C., eds. Central hardwood forest conference: Proceedings of a meeting; 1976 October 17-19; Carbondale, IL. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University: 65-87. [3813]
  • 23. Hodges, John D.; Switzer, George L. 1979. Some aspects of the ecology of southern bottomland hardwoods. In: North America's forests: gateway to opportunity: Proceedings, 1978 joint convention of the Society of American Foresters and the Canadian Institute of Forestry. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters: 360-365. [10028]
  • 25. Jones, Steven M. 1988. Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina. Natural Areas Journal. 8(1): 31-37. [11008]
  • 35. Muller, Cornelius H. 1952. Ecological control of hybridization in Quercus: a factor in the mechanism of evolution. Evolution. 6(2): 147-161. [10666]
  • 36. Myers, Ronald L. 1990. Scrub and high pine. In: Myers, Ronald L.; Ewel, John J., eds. Ecosystems of Florida. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Press: 150-193. [17389]
  • 38. Newton, R. J.; Funkhouser, E. A.; Fong, F.; Tauer, C. G. 1991. Molecular and physiological genetics of drought tolerance in forest species. Forest Ecology and Management. 43: 225-250. [17090]
  • 46. Simpson, Benny J. 1988. A field guide to Texas trees. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press. 372 p. [11708]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]
  • 56. Brush, Grace S.; Lenk, Cecilia; Smith, Joanne. 1980. The natural forests of Maryland: an explanation of the vegetation map of Maryland. Ecological Monographs. 50(1): 77-92. [19035]
  • 58. Hull, James C.; Wood, Sarah G. 1984. Water relations of oak species on and adjacent to a Maryland serpentine soil. American Midland Naturalist. 112(2): 224-234. [19034]
  • 6. Byrd, Nathan A. 1978. Some effects of soil moisture on management of forest cover for recreation and aesthetics. In: Balmer, William E., ed. Proceedings--soil moisture...site productivity symposium; 1977 November 1-3; Myrtle Beach, SC. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Area, State and Private Forestry: 119-124. [4263]
  • 9. Dolan, Rebecca W.; Menges, Eric S. 1989. Vegetation and environment in adjacent post oak (Quercus stellata) flatwoods and barrens in Indiana. American Midland Naturalist. 122: 329-338. [10412]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: natural, tree

Post oak occurs as a dominant tree in savannas and in forests adjacent
to grasslands. It forms pure stands or mixed stands with blackjack oak
(Quercus marilandica) in the prairie transition area of central Oklahoma
and Texas, where the eastern deciduous forests grade into the drier
western grasslands [43,47].

The following published classifications list post oak as a dominant or
codominant species:

Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama Piedmont [22]
The natural communities of South Carolina [37]
Forest vegetation of the Big thicket, southeast Texas [33]
Eastern Deciduous Forest [52]
Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina [25]
The natural forests of Maryland: an explanation of the vegetation map of
Maryland [56]
  • 22. Golden, Michael S. 1979. Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama Piedmont. Ecology. 60(4): 770-782. [9643]
  • 25. Jones, Steven M. 1988. Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina. Natural Areas Journal. 8(1): 31-37. [11008]
  • 33. Marks, P. L.; Harcombe, P. A. 1981. Forest vegetation of the Big Thicket, southeast Texas. Ecological Monographs. 51(3): 287-305. [9672]
  • 37. Nelson, John B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Wildlife & Marine Resources Department. 54 p. [15578]
  • 43. Risser, Paul G.; Rice, Elroy L. 1971. Phytosociological analysis of Oklahoma upland forest species. Ecology. 52(5): 940-945. [7868]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]
  • 52. Waggoner, Gary S. 1975. Eastern deciduous forest, Vol. 1: Southeastern evergreen and oak-pine region. Natural History Theme Studies No. 1, NPS 135. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 206 p. [16103]
  • 56. Brush, Grace S.; Lenk, Cecilia; Smith, Joanne. 1980. The natural forests of Maryland: an explanation of the vegetation map of Maryland. Ecological Monographs. 50(1): 77-92. [19035]

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the terms: hardwood, swamp

40 Post oak - blackjack oak
43 Bear oak
44 Chestnut oak
45 Pitch pine
46 Eastern redcedar
51 White pine - chestnut oak
52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak
53 White oak
68 Mesquite
69 Sand pine
70 Longleaf pine
71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak
72 Southern scrub oak
75 Shortleaf pine
76 Shortleaf pine - oak
78 Virginia pine - oak
79 Virginia pine
80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
83 Longleaf pine - slash pine
84 Slash pine
91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak
110 Black oak

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress
FRES32 Texas savanna
FRES39 Prairie

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K082 Mosaic of K074 and K100
K083 Cedar glades
K084 Cross Timbers
K089 Black Belt
K100 Oak - hickory forest
K104 Appalachian oak forest
K110 Northeastern oak - pine forest
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest
K113 Southern floodplain forest
K115 Sand pine scrub

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Soils and Topography

Post oak grows on a variety of sites and soils. Its range  coincides mostly with that of the Utisols but also includes some  Alfisols in the western portion of its distribution. Typically,  it grows on dry sites. Rocky outcrops, ridges, and upper slopes  with southerly or westerly exposures are common.

    Soils are generally well drained, sandy, coarse textured,  deficient in nutrients, and low in organic matter. The surface  soil is generally thin but post oak, and especially the scrubby  sand post oak, grows on deep sandy, gravelly soils.

    Delta post oak grows in fine sandy loam soils on the highest  first-bottom ridges in terraces. There is seldom standing water,  but the site may be wet due to slow drainage.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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John J. Stransky

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

The range of post oak reaches from the humid East to semiarid  portions of Oklahoma and Texas. Within this region, average  annual precipitation varies from more than 1520 mm (60 in) in  west Florida and parts of Louisiana to less than 560 mm (22 in)  in central Texas. Annual snowfall varies from 760 cm (30 in) in  southeastern Iowa to a trace in Florida (15).

    Mean annual temperatures vary from 10' C (50' F) in southern New  England and southeastern Iowa to 22' C (72' F) in central  Florida. January temperatures average from -6' C (22' F) in  southeastern Iowa to 17' C (62' F) in Florida; in July they range  from 23' C (73' F) in southern New England to 290 C (85' F) in  Texas. Temperature extremes of -11' C (12' F) in Kansas,  Oklahoma, and Texas and -400 C (-40' F) in central Missouri have  been recorded.

    From northwest to southeast the average frost-free period  increases from 165 to 300 days, 60 to 90 percent, respectively,  of the annual precipitation occurring during this period.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

John J. Stransky

Source: Silvics of North America

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Usually on xeric sites, dry gravelly and sandy ridges and uplands, dry clays, prairies and limestone hills, woodlands and deciduous forests; 0-750m.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Associations

Faunal Associations

Many insects feed on the leaves, wood, sap, acorns, and other parts of Post Oak and other oak trees (Quercus spp.). Insects that have been found on Post Oak include the flea beetle Paria opacicollis, the plant bugs Atractotomus miniatus and Neocapsus cuneatus, the aphids Neosymydobius albasiphus and Neosymydobius memorialis, and larvae of the moth Catocala similis (Similar Underwing). Post Oak is a preferred host of the following leafhoppers
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© John Hilty

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Associated Forest Cover

In the Northern Forest Region, post oak is found in the forest  cover type White Pine-Chestnut Oak (Society of American Foresters  Type 51) (4). On dry ridges and upper slopes its other associates  are scarlet, white, and black oaks (Quercus coccinea, Q.  alba, and Q. uelutina), hickories (Carya spp.),  and pines (Pinus spp.).

    In the Central Forest Region, post oak is most abundant in Post  Oak-Blackjack Oak (Type 40). It extends over a wide area from  eastern Kansas south to Texas and east to the Atlantic Coastal  Plain. On heavier, clay soils a post oak variant of this type is  found, and in the Texas "Cross Timbers" area and in  Oklahoma, a post oak savanna. Along with other oaks, post oak is  a common associate in several other cover types: Bear Oak (Type  43), Chestnut Oak (Type 44), White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak  (Type 52), White Oak (Type 53), Black Oak (Type 110), Pitch Pine  (Type 45), and Eastern Redcedar (Type 46).

    In the Southern Forest Region, sand post oak is a chief hardwood  component of Sand Pine (Type 69). Sand post oak and post oak grow  on drier sites of Longleaf Pine (Type 70) and in Southern Scrub  Oak (Type 72). Post oak is a common associate in Longleaf  Pine-Slash Pine (Type 83), Shortleaf Pine (Type 75), Virginia  Pine (Type 79), Loblolly Pine (Type 81), and Loblolly  Pine-Shortleaf Pine (Type 80), and on better drained sites of  Slash Pine (Type 84). In the oak-pine types post oak is a common  associate in Shortleaf Pine-Oak (Type 76), Virginia Pine-Oak  (Type 78), and the Loblolly Pine-Hardwood (Type 82); sand oak is  an important component of Longleaf Pine-Scrub Oak (Type 71).

    Delta post oak is found in Swamp Chestnut Oak-Cherrybark Oak (Type  91). In Mesquite (Type 68) of east central Texas, post oak  appears in mixture with mesquite (Prosopis spp.).

    The most common hardwoods associated with typical post oak are  blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica), black oak, and the  hickories. Less common associates include southern red oak (Qfalcata), white oak, scarlet oak, chestnut oak (Q.  prinus), shingle oak (Q. imbricaria), live oak  (Q. uirginiana), chinkapin oak (Q.  muehlenbergii), bluejack oak (Q. incana), Shumard oak  (Q. shumardii), blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica),  sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), red maple (Acer  rubrum), winged elm (Ulmus alata), hackberry (Celtis  occidentalis), chinkapin (Castanea spp.), and dogwood  (Cornus spp.). Coniferous associates are eastern redcedar  (Juniperus virginiana), shortleaf pine (Pinus  echinata), Virginia pine (P. virginiana), pitch pine  (P. rigida), loblolly pine (P. taeda), and  occasionally longleaf and slash pines (P. palustris and P  elliottii). At higher elevations eastern white pine (P.  strobus) and hemlock (Tsuga spp.) are  sometimes associates.

    Delta post oak is commonly associated with cherrybark oak (Quercus  falcata var. pagodifolia), water oak (Q. nigra),  willow oak (Q. phellos), swamp chestnut oak (Q. michauxii),  white oak, sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), blackgum,  American elm (Ulmus americana), winged elm, white ash  (Fraxinus americana), hickories, and loblolly pine.

    In the South, where post oak is a major component in many stands,  the following small trees are common associates: shining sumac  (Rhus copallina), smooth sumac (R. glabra), gum  bumelia (Bumelia lanuginosa), hawthorns (Crataegus  spp.), yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), possumhaw (J.  decidua), redbud (Cercis canadensis), and rusty  blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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John J. Stransky

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Post oak is susceptible to most insects,  diseases, and pollutants that present a threat to other oaks.  Regeneration efforts are hampered by acorns being destroyed by  weevils. Insect defoliators, leafrollers, tent caterpillars,  Gypsy moth, sawfly, leaf miners, and skeletonizers may cause  growth losses, and when repeated, may cause mortality (14). The  foliage also is susceptible to at tacks by aphids, lace bugs,   various scales, gall wasps, and mites. The trunk, twigs, and  roots may be damaged by carpenterworms, borers, beetles, twig  pruners, white grubs, and cicadas (locusts). Some of these cause  defects that render the wood unfit for many commercial purposes  (1).

    Chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) causes  many defects as well as mortality to post oak throughout its  range (8). The tree also is subject to oak wilt (Ceratocystis  fagacearum), a vascular disease prevalent mostly north of the  35th parallel, but not to the same degree as on red oaks.  Soil-inhabiting fungi may cause heavy seedling mortality by  damping off. Powdery mildews stunt and deform nursery seedlings.

    Many fungi produce spots, blotches, blisters, and blights on the  foliage. They rarely cause real damage but are unsightly.

    Decay fungi cause cankers, rots, and discoloration of the upper  and lower stem, as well as of the roots. The Texas root rot (Phymatotrichum  ormnivorum) attacks mainly oaks planted on old farm fields or  in subdivisions (14).

    Several species of mistletoe are often found on branches and  trunks of post oak. Infected branches may be stunted and  eventually die. Trees usually are not killed.

    Nonpoint source pollutants near large cities cause twigs of many  oaks to die back, or kill the trees. The specific diagnosis is  usually difficult. Sulfur dioxide, fluoride, ammonia, and some  herbicides have been identified as probable agents.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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John J. Stransky

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: fire suppression, fuel, prescribed fire, tree

Many present-day post oak-blackjack oak stands were former savannas. In
the Wichita Forest Reserve in Oklahoma, the average age of stands
coincides with the advent of fire suppression in the reserve [10].
Forests may not revert back to savannas with prescribed burning because
post oak-blackjack oak forests are resistant to effects of fire once the
canopy closes and the grass fuel load is reduced [24]. Fire, in
conjunction with herbicides, may be effective at eliminating post oak
[48].

Prescribed fires are used to maintain grasslands. Repeat summer fires
are effective at controlling woody species because they are hotter than
winter fires, and belowground carbohydrate reserves are lowest in the
summer [18]. Post oak growing within a pine forest can also be
controlled with prescribed fire [3,53].

Equations for the estimation of fire-caused mortality have been
developed for post oak. In order to predict mortality, a manager needs
to know the tree d.b.h, the height of bark blackening, the width of bark
blackening 1 foot above the ground, and the season of fire. The
equations should only be applied to trees between 3 and 16 inches
(7.6-40.6 cm) in d.b.h. [31].
  • 10. Dooley, Karen. 1983. Description and dynamics of some western oak forests in Oklahoma. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma. 62 p. Dissertation. [12145]
  • 18. Frost, Cecil C.; Walker, Joan; Peet, Robert K. 1986. Fire-dependent savannas and prairies of the Southeast: original extent, preservation status and management problems. In: Kulhavy, D. L.; Conner, R. N., eds. Wilderness and natural areas in the eastern United States: a management challenge. Nacogdoches, TX: Stephen F. Austin University: 348-357. [10333]
  • 24. Johnson, Forrest L.; Risser, Paul G. 1975. A quantitative comparison between an oak forest and an oak savannah in central Oklahoma. Southwestern Naturalist. 20(1): 75-84. [11366]
  • 3. Boyer, William D. 1990. Growing-season burns for control of hardwoods in longleaf pine stands. Res. Pap. SO-256. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [14604]
  • 31. Loomis, Robert M. 1973. Estimating fire-caused mortality and injury in oak-hickory forests. Res. Pap. NC-94. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 6 p. [8740]
  • 48. Stritzke, Jimmy F.; Engle, David M.; McCollum, F. Ted. 1991. Vegetation management in the Cross Timbers: response of woody species to herbicides and burning. Weed Technology. 5(2): 400-405. [16395]
  • 53. Waldrop, Thomas A.; White, David L.; Jones, Steven M. 1992. FIRE REGIMES for pine-grassland communities in the southeastern United States. Forest Ecology and Management. 47: 195-210. [17763]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: density, root crown

If top-killed by fire, post oak up to 10 inches (25 cm) in d.b.h. sprout
vigorously from the root crown [47].

Because of sprouting, fire tends to increase the number of understory
post oak stems. Eight annual winter fires in Tennessee resulted in
2,000 stems per acre (4,940/ha) compared to 1,220 stems per acre
(3,010/ha) in the unburned control [49]. If the high fire frequency
continues, however, the stem density may decrease as root systems are
killed. In a study on the Santee Experimental Forest in South Carolina,
43 years of periodic winter and summer low-severity fires and annual
winter and summer low-severity fires reduced the number of hardwood
stems (including post oak) between 1 and 5 inches (2.6-12.5) in d.b.h.
However, the number of stems less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) in d.b.h.
increased slightly under all treatments except annual summer fires.
Root systems were weakened and eventually killed by annual burning
during the growing season [53].

Fire wounds on surviving trees allow entry of fungi which can cause
heart rot decay [50].
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]
  • 49. Thor, Eyvind; Nichols, Gary M. 1974. Some effects of fires on litter, soil, and hardwood regeneration. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1973 March 22-23; Tallahassee, FL. No. 13. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 317-329. [18977]
  • 50. Toole, E. Richard. 1965. Fire damage to commercial hardwoods in southern bottom lands. In: Proceedings, 4th annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1965 March 18-19; Tallahassee, FL. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 144-151. [8715]
  • 53. Waldrop, Thomas A.; White, David L.; Jones, Steven M. 1992. FIRE REGIMES for pine-grassland communities in the southeastern United States. Forest Ecology and Management. 47: 195-210. [17763]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

More info for the terms: fuel, surface fire

Post oak in a savanna is more likely to be killed by surface fires than
post oak in a forest because of the grass fuel load in the savanna. In a
March surface fire in a central Oklahoma savanna, most post oaks smaller
than 1.6 inches (4 cm) in d.b.h. were top-killed and some trees up to
3.5 inches (9 cm) in d.b.h. were top-killed or severely damaged. In the
adjacent post oak-blackjack oak forest, however, few woody stems larger
than 1 inch (2.5 cm) were top-killed [24].

In a post oak-eastern redcedar community, post oak is likely to be
killed by fire because the eastern redcedar is highly flammable and
fires tend to be hot. In a severe fire in a post oak-eastern redcedar
community in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma, 92 percent of all trees
(post oak, blackjack oak, and eastern redcedar) greater than 3 inches
(7.6 cm) in d.b.h. were top-killed and only 13.5 percent of the post
oaks and blackjack oaks sprouted. In the adjacent post oak-blackjack
oak forest, only 66 percent of trees greater than 3 inches (7.6 cm) were
top-killed by the fire and 70 percent sprouted [40].
  • 24. Johnson, Forrest L.; Risser, Paul G. 1975. A quantitative comparison between an oak forest and an oak savannah in central Oklahoma. Southwestern Naturalist. 20(1): 75-84. [11366]
  • 40. Penfound, William T. 1968. Influence of a wildfire in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma. Ecology. 49(5): 1003-1006. [12297]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the terms: low-severity fire, top-kill

In general, small post oaks are top-killed by low-severity fire, and
more severe fires top-kill larger trees and may kill rootstocks as well.

Growing-season fires tend to be more detrimental to post oak than
dormant-season fires. In Texas, a winter head fire top-killed 20 percent
of a post oak and southern red oak understory; a late winter fire
top-killed just over 40 percent; a spring fire top-killed just under 40
percent; and a late summer fire top-killed 55 percent. Winter fires
killed on average less than 2 percent of rootstocks; summer fires killed
on average less than 10 percent. The top-kill was substantially greater
for oaks between 0.6 and 2.5 inches (1.5-6.4 cm) in diameter than those
between 2.6 and 4.5 inches (6.5-11.4 cm) in diameter. Diameter was
measured 6 inches (15.2 cm) above the ground line [15].
  • 15. Ferguson, E. R. 1961. Effects of prescribed fires on understory stems in pine-hardwood stand of Texas. Journal of Forestry. 59: 356-359. [10182]

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Post-fire Regeneration

Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/root sucker

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: fuel, fuel moisture, litter, surface fire, tree, xeric

Post oak is moderately resistant to fire [5]. It is less tolerant than
blackjack oak, about as tolerant as black oak [5,21], and slightly more
tolerant than southern red oak [3]. The basal bark on mature trees is
medium thick, and stands of post oak are moderately open [5]. Smaller
trees are easily killed by fire, but sprout vigorously from the root
collar [55].

If fire is frequent in pine-oak-hickory associations, post oak is an
important constituent because fire provides an opportunity for invasion
by this more fire-resistant oak. If fire is infrequent or absent, post
oak also is absent [28].

In xeric sandhill communities of post oak, blackjack oak, and bluejack
oak, grass and other fuels are rare and fires are only occasional. When
fires do reach these communities, some mature trees may be killed, but
they sprout and the community is maintained [54].

In a study investigating the temperature of a surface fire as it moved
from the surrounding grasslands to the area beneath a single post oak,
the temperature increased sharply from the canopy edge to the midcanopy
position because the increase in fuel load was not accompanied by a
concomitant increase in fuel moisture percentage. The temperature then
decreased from the midcanopy to the base of the tree, despite continued
increase in fuel load and a slight decrease in fuel moisture. This
decline in temperature was presumably caused by the bole of the tree,
which stopped the leading edge of the fire [16].

Under historic FIRE REGIMES, a savanna is maintained because after a hot
surface fire grass grows back faster than the woody sprouts. In the
absence of fire, the woody canopy spreads and the grass dies back. If
fire returns, post oaks are likely to survive because the reduction in
grass fuel results in a much cooler fire. In a fire in central
Oklahoma, all savanna litter burned whereas only 45 percent of the
litter in the adjacent forest burned [24].
  • 16. Fonteyn, Paul J.; Stone, M. Wade; Yancy, Malinda A.; Baccus, John T. 1984. Interspecific and intraspecific microhabitat temperature variations during a fire. American Midland Naturalist. 112(2): 246-250. [7457]
  • 21. Givnish, Thomas J. 1981. Serotiny, geography, and fire in the pine barrens of New Jersey. Evolution. 35(1): 101-123. [8634]
  • 24. Johnson, Forrest L.; Risser, Paul G. 1975. A quantitative comparison between an oak forest and an oak savannah in central Oklahoma. Southwestern Naturalist. 20(1): 75-84. [11366]
  • 28. Kurz, Herman. 1944. Secondary forest succession in the Tallahassee Red Hills. Proceedings, Florida Academy of Science. 7(1): 59-100. [10799]
  • 3. Boyer, William D. 1990. Growing-season burns for control of hardwoods in longleaf pine stands. Res. Pap. SO-256. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [14604]
  • 5. Brown, Arthur A.; Davis, Kenneth P. 1973. Forest fire control and use. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. 686 p. [15993]
  • 54. Watson, Geraldine E. 1986. Influence of fire on the longleaf pine - bluestem range in the Big Thicket region. In: Kulhavy, D. L.; Conner, R. N., eds. Wilderness and natural areas in the eastern United States: a management challenge. Nacogdoches, TX: Stephen F. Austin University: 181-185. [10334]
  • 55. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: association, climax, codominant, competition, xeric

Facultative Seral Species

Post oak is intolerant of shade and competition. Because of slow growth
it is often overtopped by other species, including most oaks. It
persists and becomes dominant on poor sites because of its drought
resistance [47]. Delta post oak is moderately intolerant of shade [41].

Post oak is common in the understory of pine (Pinus spp.)-hardwood
forests. In the absence of fire, post oak may become dominant depending
on site conditions and competition from associated species [19]. In an
upland longleaf pine forest in the west Gulf Coastal Plain, post oak,
along with blackjack oak, bluejack oak, and black hickory (Carya
texana), became codominant and eventually replaced longleaf pine [4].

Post oak will expand into adjacent prairies in the absence of fire [47].
The post oak-blackjack oak association may be an edaphic climax on dry
sites [14].

Some of the most xeric sites of the South Carolina Piedmont are occupied
by old-growth communities of post oak, black oak, and blueridge blueberry
(Vaccinium vacillans). Although the community appears to be in steady
state, it may evolve into a hickory-dominated community in the absence
of fire [25].
  • 14. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]
  • 19. Garren, Kenneth H. 1943. Effects of fire on vegetation of the southeastern United States. Botanical Review. 9: 617-654. [9517]
  • 25. Jones, Steven M. 1988. Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina. Natural Areas Journal. 8(1): 31-37. [11008]
  • 4. Bridges, Edwin L.; Orzell, Steve L. 1989. Longleaf pine communities of the west Gulf Coastal Plain. Natural Areas Journal. 9(4): 246-263. [10091]
  • 41. Putnam, John A. 1951. Management of bottomland hardwoods. Occasional Paper 116. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 60 p. [6748]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: hypogeal, litter, monoecious, root crown

Sexual: Post oak is monoecious. Seed production begins when the tree
is about 25 years old. Good crops occur at 2- to 3-year intervals.
Post oak does not produce as many acorns as white oak, blackjack oak,
black oak (Quercus velutina), or scarlet oak (Q. coccinea) [47].

Acorns germinate in autumn soon after falling. Germination is hypogeal.
The ideal seedbed is moist soil covered with 1 inch (2.5 cm) or more of
leaf litter. Height and diameter growth are slow; 10 year d.b.h. growth
generally averages less than 2 inches (5 cm). Post oak usually grows
more slowly than any associated trees except blackjack oak [47].
Average annual height growth of seedlings in Missouri during a 6 year
period was 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) [29].

Seedlings are resistant to drought but not to flooding [47]. Post oak
seedlings were more drought tolerant than white oak, black oak, or
northern red oak (Q. rubra), primarily because of greater drought
tolerance of leaf and root cells [57].

Vegetative: Trees up to 10 inches (25 cm) in d.b.h. sprout prolifically
from the root crown after being top-killed. Post oak tends to have
fewer sprouts per clump than black, chestnut, white, or scarlet oaks
[47]. Post oak sprouts grow faster than seedlings [29]. In the Cross
Timbers area of Oklahoma, post oak often occurs in small clusters of two
to six trees. These clusters may represent a single individual because
the species occasionally reproduces vegetatively from roots, especially
under moisture stress [8].
  • 29. Liming, Franklin G.; Johnston, John P. 1944. Reproduction in oak-hickory forest stands of the Missouri ozarks. Journal of Forestry. 42(2): 175-180. [8722]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]
  • 57. Messier, Francois; Virgl, John A. 1992. Differential use of bank burrows and lodges by muskrats, Ondatra zibethicus, in a northern marsh environment. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 70(6): 1180-1184. [18437]
  • 8. Collins, Scott L.; Klahr, Sabine C. 1991. Tree dispersion in oak-dominated forests along an environmental gradient. Oecologia. 86(4): 471-477. [17584]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Reaction to Competition

Post oak is intolerant of  competition and is classed as intolerant of shade. Because of its  slow height growth it often is overtopped by other trees,  including most other oaks. On poor sites, however, post oak tends  to persist and become dominant because it is more drought  resistant than many of its associates (12).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

John J. Stransky

Source: Silvics of North America

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Rooting Habit

Post oak seedlings have especially thick  taproots, usually exceeding the shoot diameter; but overall root  development is less than that of northern red (Quercus  rubra), scarlet, white, and blackjack oak (12). Although post  oak seedlings do become established on sites having a tight clay  subsoil, their growth is slow and most roots develop above the  underlying clay (3). Post oak seedlings were found to be the most  drought resistant of four Missouri oaks, primarily because of the  greater drought tolerance of their leaf and root cells (13). In  Alabama, post oak was the least tolerant of flooding of all  species tested (6).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Post oak flowers from March to June depending on elevation and latitude.
Flowers appear at the same time as leaves. Acorns mature in one growing
season and drop soon after ripening from September through November.
Acorns exhibit no dormancy and germinate soon after dropping [47].
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring.
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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Post oaks up to 25 cm (10 in) in  d.b.h. sprout prolifically after being cut or burned. Along the  southwestern margins of its range, post oak spreads rapidly into  former grasslands after periodic prairie fires were stopped, and  much of this extension appears to be of sprout origin. In one  study in which potted seedlings were deprived of moisture until  the aboveground parts died, two to three times as many post oaks   sprouted after normal moisture was restored than did white,  blackjack, northern red, or scarlet oaks (12).

    In a comparison of the sprouting habits of five oaks, post oak had  more one-stem clumps and fewer sprouts per clump on the average  than did black oak, chestnut oak, white oak, or scarlet oak. This  characteristic would be important in culture by coppice except  that post oak grows more slowly than the others.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seedling Development

Post oak acorns germinate in the  autumn soon after dropping. They do not exhibit dormancy.  Germination is hypogeal. The best seedbed is a moist soil covered  with 2.5 cm (I in) or more of leaf litter.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

In common with many  other oaks, post oak begins to bear acorns when it is about 25  years old. Good acorn crops are produced at 2- to 3-year  intervals; although at several locations in Missouri over a  6-year period, post oak consistently averaged only 200 seeds per  tree per year while white, blackjack, black, and scarlet oaks of  the same size on the same site bore from 500 to 2,400 acorns per  tree. Isolated trees in open fields in east Texas consistently  produced well. Elsewhere in Texas, trees less than 15 cm (6 in)  in d.b.h. had no acorns (12).

    The number of post oak acorns per kilogram averages 838 (380/lb)  but may range from 441 to 1,340 (200 to 608/lb) (17).

    In a sampling of post oak acorn yields from 736 trees for 18 years  (1950-67) in western Louisiana and eastern Texas, the average  number of fresh acorns per kilogram was 476 (216/lb) with 39  percent moisture content (5). Mast yield increased linearly with  increasing bole size. Expected acorn yield was 1.6 kg (3.6 lb)  from trees 30.5 cm (12 in) in d.b.h., and 3.6 kg (8.0 lb) from  trees 50.8 cm (20 in) in d.b.h. The percentage of acorn-producing  trees also increased with increasing d.b.h. from 42 percent on  15.2 cm (6 in) trees to 76 percent on 55.9 cm (22 in) trees.  Expected acorn yield rose from 0.9 kg (2 lb) on trees with a 3.0  ni (10 ft) crown diameter to 5.5 kg (12.1 lb) on trees with a 6.1  m (20 ft) crown diameter. Average acorn yield per tree over the  18-year observation period varied from a low 0.03 kg (0.07 lb) in  1962 to a high 4.4 kg (9.7 lb) in 1965.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Post oak is monoecious; staminate  and pistillate flowers are on the same tree in separate catkins  (aments). Flowers appear at the same time as the leaves.  Flowering usually begins in March in the South and extends  through May further north. Staminate flowers are borne in pendant  catkins 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) long. The calyx is yellow,  pubescent, and five-lobed; the lobes are acute and laciniately  segmented, with four to six stamens and pubescent anthers.  Pistillate catkins are short-stalked or sessile and  inconspicuous; the scales of the involucre are broadly ovate and  hairy with red, short, enlarged stigmas (18).

    The acorns mature in one growing season and drop soon after  ripening, from September through November. Late freezes after the  start of flowering and leafing may cause seed crop failures. The  acorns are sessile or short-stalked, borne solitary, in pairs, or  clustered; acorns are oval or ovoid-oblong, broad at the base, 13  to 19 mm (0.5 to 0.75 in) long, striate, set in a cup one-third  to one-half its length. The cup is bowl-shaped, pale, and often  pubescent within. Externally it is hoary-tomentose. The scales of  the cup are reddish brown, rounded or acute at the apex, and  closely appressed (18).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

In the Southeast, mature post oaks are  from 15.2 to 18.3 m (50 to 60 ft) tall and from 30 to 61 cm (12  to 24 in) in d.b.h. Maximum height rarely exceeds 30 m (100 ft),  and diameters exceeding 122 cm (48 in) are uncommon. In the  extreme western part of its range, mature trees are seldom larger  than 9 to 12 in (30 to 40 ft) tall and 38 to 46 cm (15 to 18 in)  in d.b.h. Height and diameter growth for post oak are usually   slower than for any of the associated trees except blackjack oak  ' Ten-year diameter growth generally averages less than 5 cm (2  in), and in central Oklahoma it may be only 13 mm (0.5 in).

    Diameter growth of individual post oaks averaging 17 cm (6.7 in)  in d.b.h. was stimulated when most of the stand was removed to  favor forage production in Robertson County, TX (12). Post oak  stands were thinned from an average of 14.9 m²/ha (65 ft²  /acre) basal area to 8.9, 6.0, and 3.0 m²/ha (39, 26, and 13  ft² /acre). In the two ensuing growing seasons, average  annual diameter growth for the heaviest thinning was twice that  of the uncut check plots (3.6 mm. compared to 1.8 mm, excluding  bark, or 0.14 in compared to 0.07 in).

    Average post oak stands in east Texas contain a volume of about  47.2 m³/ha (7.5 cords or 675 ft³/acre). In an Oklahoma  woodland, typical of the dry upland post oak type, post oaks 30  cm (12 in) in d.b.h. and larger made up 64 percent of the  sawtimber volume (Doyle rule) in a stand averaging nearly 28.0 m³/ha  (2,000 fbm/acre). The average post oak contained 0.4 m' (70 fbm).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

The great variation in post oak and its tendency to hybridize  creates a number of varieties and hybrids. The following hybrids  with Quercus stellata have been recognized (10): Q.  alba (Q. x fernowii Ti-el.); Q. bicolor (Q. x substellata  Trel.); Q. durandii (Q. x macnabiana Sudw.); Q.  havardii (unnamed); Q. lyrata (Q. x sterrettii  Trel.); Q. macrocarpa (Q. x guadalupensis Sarg.);  Q. minima (Q. x neo-tharpii A. Camus); Q. mohriana  (unnamed); Q. prinoides (Q. x stelloides Palmer);  Q. prinus (Q. x bernardiensis W. Wolf); Q. virginiana  (Q. x harbisonii Sarg.).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: competition, hardwood

Post oak is susceptible to most insects and diseases that attack eastern
oak species. Chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) attacks
post oak throughout most of its range [47].

Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), which has defoliated and killed
northeastern oak species, showed 17 percent survival in feeding trials
using post oak. This exotic moth has been spreading southward from New
England and, if not contained, could become a problem for post oak
[34].

Hardwood competition in pine plantations and hardwood expansion into
grasslands are often controlled with herbicides. Tebuthiuron and
triclopyr are extremely effective on post oak in grasslands of the Cross
Timbers area of Oklahoma [48].
  • 34. Montgomery, Michael E.; McManus, Michael L.; Berisford, C. Wayne. 1989. The gypsy moth in pitch pine-oak mixtures: predictions for the South based on experiences in the North. In: Waldrop, Thomas A., ed. Proceedings of pine-hardwood mixtures: a symposium on management and ecology of the type; 1989 April 18-19; Atlanta, GA. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-58. Asheville, SC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 43-49. [10256]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]
  • 48. Stritzke, Jimmy F.; Engle, David M.; McCollum, F. Ted. 1991. Vegetation management in the Cross Timbers: response of woody species to herbicides and burning. Weed Technology. 5(2): 400-405. [16395]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun and mesic to dry conditions that are well-drained. The soil can contain loam, clay, sand, or stony material. The size of this tree is strongly influenced by moisture levels and fertility of the soil. Toleration of drought and heat are excellent, while toleration of waterlogged conditions is poor. While it is normally a small- to medium-sized tree in the wild, in cultivation Post Oak can become large-sized. The growth rate is relatively slow; individual trees can live 200-400 years. Acorns are produced on individual trees in about 25 years. The acorns do not require a winter dormancy in order to germinate; they should be planted in the ground after falling during the autumn. Various fungi can produce spots, blotches, blisters, and blights on the foliage, reducing its attractiveness. Post Oak is hardy to at least Zone 5 if a northern ecotype is selected.
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Other uses and values

More info for the term: tree

Post oak is used as a shade tree and its bark is used for decorative and
protective mulch in landscaping [47].
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

Post oak provides cover and habitat for birds and mammals. Cavities
provide nest and den sites, and leaves are used for nest construction.
The acorns are an important food source for wildlife including
white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and squirrels and other rodents [47].

The tannin in leaves, buds, and acorns is toxic to sheep, cattle, and
goats [47].
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Wood Products Value

More info for the term: natural

Post oak is not a preferred timber species [44]. It is difficult to
grade because of insect damage, and natural pruning and growth are slow
[41]. The wood is very durable and classified as moderately to very
resistant to decay. It is used for railroad ties, mine timbers,
flooring, siding, lathing, planks, construction timbers, and fence posts
(hence its name) [47]. Wood of Delta post oak is of better quality than
that of the typical variety, but it has a distinct yellow-tan cast which
requires separate handling as veneer. Otherwise, Delta post oak wood
has broad utility [41].
  • 41. Putnam, John A. 1951. Management of bottomland hardwoods. Occasional Paper 116. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 60 p. [6748]
  • 44. Sander, Ivan L. 1977. Manager's handbook for oaks in the North Central States. Gen. Tech. Rep NC-37. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 35 p. [11002]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Post oak is planted for soil stabilization on dry, sloping, stony sites,
which are unsuitable for other species [47].
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]

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Nutritional Value

Post oak acorns contain 5.2 percent crude fat, 37.9 percent total
carbohydrates, 3.8 percent total protein, 0.08 percent phosphorus, 0.25
percent calcium, and 0.06 percent magnesium [2].
  • 2. Bonner, F. T.; Vozzo, J. A. 1987. Seed biology and technology of Quercus. Gen. Tech. Rep. SO-66. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 21 p. [3248]

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Palatability

Among 12 southeastern oak species, post oak ranked third in preference
to the fox squirrel [39]. Acorns of white oak group species are
generally more palatable than black oak group acorns [45].
  • 39. Ofcarcik, R. P.; Burns, E. E.; Teer, J. G. 1973. Acceptance of selected acorns by captive fox squirrels. Southwestern Naturalist. 17(4): 349-355. [11365]
  • 45. Short, Henry L. 1976. Composition and squirrel use of acorns of black and white oak groups. Journal of Wildlife Management. 40(3): 479-483. [10590]

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Special Uses

Post oak is a valuable contributor to wildlife food and cover.  Acorns provide high energy food during fall and winter and are  considered important in the diet of wild turkey, white-tailed  deer, squirrels, and many other rodents. When acorns are  available animals fatten quickly, go through the winter in good  condition, and are most likely to produce healthy young (7).  Leaves are used for nest building by birds, squirrels, and  raccoons (11). Cavities provide nests and dens for various birds  and mammals.

    Considered a beautiful shade tree for parks, post oak is often  used in urban forestry. It is also planted for soil stabilization  on dry, sloping, stony sites where few other trees will grow. It  develops an attractive crown with strong horizontal branches.  Large trees are difficult to transplant and do not tolerate  compaction or removal of soil in developments (19).

    The wood of post oak, commercially called white oak, is classified  as moderately to very resistant to decay (16). It is used for  railroad ties, lathing, siding, planks, construction timbers,  mine timbers, trim molding, stair risers and treads, flooring  (its highest volume finished products), fenceposts, pulp, veneer,  particle boards, and fuel. The bark provides tannin, decorative  and protective mulch in landscaping, and fuel.

    The tannin in oak leaves, buds, and acorns is toxic to cattle,  sheep, and goats. Oak poisoning is a problem in the Southwest  where annual livestock losses costing more than $10 million have  been estimated. Poisoning occurs more frequently in drought years  when other forage is in short supply. The most dangerous season  is during the sprouting of new foliage, a period of about 4 weeks  in March and April (9).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Notes

Comments

Quercus stellata is often identified by its commonly cross-shaped leaf form, particularly in the eastern part of its range. All individuals and populations do not express this characteristic, however. Moreover, Q . stellata has broad overlap with Q . margaretta and even with some forms of the blackjack oak, Q . marilandica , one of its most common associates. The thick yellowish twigs with indument of stellate hairs and the dense harsh stellate hairs on the abaxial leaf surface are better diagnostic characteristics when variation includes leaf forms that are not obviously cruciform. 

 Native Americans used Quercus stellata medicinally for indigestion, chronic dysentery, mouth sores, chapped skin, hoarseness, and milky urine, as an antiseptic, and as a wash for fever and chills (D. E. Moerman 1986).

Putative hybrids are known with Quercus marilandica , Q . alba , and various other white oaks. Quercus stellata is also one of the few oaks that appears to produce hybrids with species in the live oak group, although obvious intermediates are rarely encountered. Nothospecies names based on putative hybrids involving Q . stellata include: Q . × stelloides E. J. Palmer (= Q . prinoides × Q . stellata ), Q . × mahloni E. J. Palmer (as Q . sinuata var. breviloba × Q . stellata ), Q . × pseudomargaretta Trelease (= Q . margaretta × Q . stellata ), Q . × sterretti Trelease (= Q . lyrata × Q . stellata ), Q . × macnabiana Sudworth (= Q . sinuata × Q . stellata ), Q . × guadalupensis Sargent (= Q . sinuata × Q . stellata ), Q . × fernowi Trelease (= Q . alba × Q . stellata ), and Q . × bernardensis W. Wolf (= Q . montana × Q . stellata ).

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The currently accepted scientific name of post oak is Quercus stellata
Wangenh. [30,47]. Post oak has been placed within the subgenus
Lepidobalanus, or white oak group [59].

The following varieties are recognized [30]:

Quercus stellata var. paludosa Sarg., Delta post oak
Quercus stellata var. stellata, post oak

Identification of post oak is difficult because of its many growth
forms. At times, local populations have been given species or varietal
status. A rhizomatous dwarf post oak that grows near Lufkin, Texas, is
called Boynton post oak (Q. boyntonii). Drummond post oak, which grows
in deep sands of Texas, is thought to be a hybrid between post oak and
sand post oak (Q. margaretta) [46]. It has also been considered a species (Q.
drummondii) by some authors [13,46].

Post oak hybridizes with the following species [30]:

x Q. alba (white oak): Q. X fernowii Trel.
x Q. bicolor (swamp white oak): Q. X substellata Trel.
x Q. durandii (Durand oak): Q. X macnabiana Sudw.
x Q. havardii (Havard oak)
x Q. lyrata (overcup oak): Q. X sterrettii Trel.
x Q. macrocarpa (bur oak): Q. X guadalupensis Sarg.
x Q. minima (dwarf live oak): Q. X neo-tharpii A. Camus
x Q. mohriana (Mohr oak)
x Q. prinoides (dwarf chinkapin oak): Q. X stelloides Palmer
x Q. prinus (chestnut oak): Q. X bernardiensis W. Wolf
x Q. virginiana (live oak): Q. X harbisonii Sarg.
  • 13. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 30. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
  • 46. Simpson, Benny J. 1988. A field guide to Texas trees. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press. 372 p. [11708]
  • 47. Stransky, John J. 1990. Quercus stellata Wangenh. post oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Agric. Handb. 654. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 738-743. [18958]
  • 59. Olson, David F., Jr. 1974. Quercus L. oak. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 692-703. [7737]

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Common Names

post oak
Delta post oak
iron oak
cross oak
dwarf post oak
runner oak
scrubby post oak
Boynton post oak
Drummond post oak
bottomland post oak
bottom-land post oak
Mississippi Valley oak
yellow oak

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Synonyms

Quercus boyntonii Beadle
Quercus mississippiensis Ashe
Quercus similis Ashe
Quercus drummondii Liebm.
Quercus stellata var. boyntonii (Beadle) Sarg.
Quercus stellata var. mississippiensis (Ashe) Little
Quercus stellata var. similis (Ashe) Sudw.

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