Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (1) (learn more)

Overview

Brief Summary

Fagaceae -- Beech family

  Robert A. McQuilkin

  Chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), sometimes called rock chestnut  oak, rock oak, or tanbark oak, is commonly found in the Appalachian region on  dry, infertile soils and rocky ridges but reaches best growth on rich  well-drained soils along streams. Good acorn crops on this medium-sized,  long-lived tree are infrequent, but the sweet nuts are eaten by wildlife when  available. Chestnut oak is slow growing and the lumber is cut and sold as white  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.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Quercus montana, the chestnut oak, is a species of oak in the white oak group. It is native to the eastern United States, where it is a common ridgetop tree from southern Maine southwest to central Mississippi. It is also sometimes called "rock oak" because of montane and other rocky habitats. As a consequence of its dry habitat and ridgetop exposure, it is not usually a large tree, typically 18-22m (60-70 ft) tall; occasional specimens growing in better conditions can however become large, with trees up to 40-43 m (130-140 ft) tall known. They tend to have a similar spread of 18-22m (60-70 ft). A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 5 m (16 ft) tall.

  • "Quercus prinus." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 30 Dec 2011, 22:09 UTC. 20 Mar 2012 .
  • Flora of North America Vol. 3 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

© Nathan Wilson

Supplier: Nathan Wilson

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Chestnut oak extends from southwestern Maine west through New York to  extreme southern Ontario, southeastern Michigan, southern Indiana and Illinois,  south to northeastern Mississippi, and east to central Alabama and Georgia;  then north to Delaware, mostly west of the Coastal Plain. Its best growth  occurs in the mountains of the Carolinas and Tennessee (18).

 
-The native range of chestnut  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.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Quercus prinus L.:
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Quercus montana Willd.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ala., Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees , deciduous, to 30 m. Bark dark gray or brown, hard, with deep V-shaped furrows. Twigs light brown, 2-3(-4) mm diam., glabrous. Buds light brown, ovoid, (3-)4-6 mm, occasionally apex acute, glabrous. Leaves: petiole (3-)10-30 mm. Leaf blade obovate to narrowly elliptic or narrowly obovate, (100-)120-200(-220) × 60-100(-120) mm, base subacute or rounded-acuminate, often unequal, margins regularly toothed, teeth rounded or rarely somewhat acute, secondary veins ± parallel, straight or moderately curved, 10-14(-16) on each side, apex broadly acuminate; surfaces abaxially light green, appearing glabrous but with scattered minute, asymmetric, appressed-stellate hairs and usually visible, larger, simple or fascicled erect hairs along veins, adaxially dark green, glossy, glabrous or with minute, scattered, simple hairs. Acorns 1-3, subsessile or on peduncle 8-20(-25) mm; cup shallowly cup-shaped to hemispheric or deeply goblet-shaped, rim thin, often flared and undulate, helmetlike, 9-15 mm deep × 18-25 mm wide, scales often in concentric or transverse rows, laterally connate, gray, broadly ovate, tips reddish, glabrous; nut light brown, ovoid-ellipsoid, 15-30 × 10-20(-25) mm, glabrous. Cotyledons distinct. 2 n = 24.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Soils and Topography

Chestnut oak is most commonly found on dry upland sites such as  ridgetops and upper slopes with shallow soils, south- and west-facing upper  slopes, and sandy or rocky soils with low moisture-holding capacity of the  orders Ultisols and Inceptisols. Chestnut oak grows from near sea level on the  Coastal Plain of New Jersey and Long Island to elevations of approximately 1400  in (4,600 ft) in the southern Appalachians (4,8).

  In the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, site index for chestnut  oak ranges from 12 to 25 in (39 to 83 ft), and averages about 20 in (65 ft).  Site index is greater on steep slopes, lower slope positions, and at elevations  below 800 in (2,600 ft) than elsewhere. Other indicators of good chestnut oak  sites are subsoils with more than 15 percent silt, loam or sandy loam surface  soils, and sites where litter decomposes rapidly (15). Chestnut oak growth is  poorest on soils of the Porters (Humic Hapludult) and Ashe (Typic Dystrochrept)  series, intermediate on soils of the Hayesville and Halewood series (Typic  Hapludults), and best on soils of the Tusquitee and Brevard series (Humic and  Typic Hapludults, respectively) (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.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Climate

The climate throughout most of the range of chestnut oak is humid, with  small superhumid areas in the Appalachian Mountains. The average annual  precipitation varies from 810 mm (32 in) in western New York and southern  Ontario to more than 2030 mm (80 in) in the southern Appalachians; however,  annual precipitation for the majority of the chestnut oak range is between 1020  and 1220 mm (40 and 48 in). Length of growing season varies from 120 days in  New England to 240 days in northern Alabama and Georgia (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.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Rocky upland forest, dry ridges, mixed deciduous forests on shallow soils; 0-1400m.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Associated Forest Cover

Chestnut oak is a major component in 2 forest cover types and an  associated species in 10 others (8). Chestnut Oak (Society of American  Foresters Type 44) is found primarily on dry south- and west-facing slopes,  ridgetops, and rocky outcrops throughout the Appalachian Mountains at  elevations from 450 to 1400 m (1,475 to 4,600 ft). Associated species in this  type vary greatly by region, elevation, topographic position, and soils, and  include other upland oaks (Quercus spp.) and hickories (Carya  spp.); sweet birch (Betula lenta); yellow-poplar (Liriodendron  tulipifera); blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica); sweetgum (Liquidambar  styraciflua); black cherry (Prunus serotina); black walnut  (Juglans nigra); red (Acer rubrum) and sugar (A. saccharum)  maples; eastern redcedar (Juniperus uirginiana); eastern hemlock  (Tsuga canadensis); and red (Pinus resinosa), eastern white  (P. strobus), pitch (P. rigida), Table Mountain (P.  pungens), shortleaf (P. echinata), Virginia (P.  virginiana), and longleaf (P. palustris) pines. A variant  of this type, chestnut oak-northern red oak, is found in disturbed forests in  the Catskills in New York and on Massanutten Mountain in Virginia. The variant  chestnut oak-scarlet oak is identified in the central Appalachians, while the  variants chestnut oak-pitch pine, chestnut oak-eastern white pine-northern red  oak, and chestnut oak-black oak-scarlet oak occur in the southern  Appalachians.

  White Pine-Chestnut Oak (Type 51) is found in the Appalachian region  from West Virginia to Georgia. It is most common in southwestern Virginia,  eastern Tennessee, and western North Carolina at elevations between 360 and  1100 m (1,200 and 3,600 ft). On the drier sites, common associated species  include scarlet (Quercus coccinea), white (Q. alba), post  (Q. stellata), and black (Q. velutina) oaks;  hickories; blackgum; sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum); red maple; and  pitch, Table Mountain, Virginia, and shortleaf pines. On more mesic sites,  associated species include northern red (Quercus rubra) and white oaks,  black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), yellow-poplar, sugar and red  maples, and black cherry.

  Chestnut oak is also an associated species in the following cover types:  Eastern White Pine (Type 21); White Pine-Hemlock (Type 22); Red Maple (Type  108); Bear Oak (Type 43); White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak (Type 52) and  its variants white oak-black oak-chestnut oak, black oak-scarlet oak-chestnut  oak, and scarlet oak-chestnut oak; White Oak (Type 53); Black Oak (Type 110);  Pitch Pine (Type 45) and its variant pitch pine-chestnut oak; Virginia Pine  (Type 79); and Virginia Pine-Oak (Type 78).

  Common shrub associates of chestnut oak include highbush and lowbush  blueberry (Vaccinum corymbosum and V. angustifolium),  dwarf chinkapin oak Quercus prinoides), and mountain-laurel  (Kalmia latifolia).

  Before the demise of American chestnut (Castanea dentata),  chestnut oak was an important component of the Appalachian oak-chestnut  forests. Since then, hickory, chestnut oak, northern red oak, and white oak  have replaced American chestnut as these stands have gradually changed to  oak-hickory stands (20).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Because of its predominance on steep slopes and  dry sites, chestnut oak has a higher incidence of fire damage and associated  decay than other oaks throughout the Appalachians, although its inherent  resistance to heartwood decay is greater than that of white, northern red,  black, or scarlet oak. Chestnut oak is susceptible to most of the diseases of  oaks including oak wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum). It is particularly  susceptible to the twig-blight fungus Diplodia longispora, a die-back  and branch canker caused by Botryodiplodia spp., and, from Virginia  northward, stem cankers caused by Nectria galligena and Strumella  coryneoidea. The heartrot fungi Spongipellis pachyodon commonly  occurs around dead branch stubs on chestnut oak in the southeast. Sprout rot,  caused primarily by the heart rot fungi Stereum gausapatum, Fistulina  hepatica, and Armillaria mellea, is common in chestnut oak stump  sprouts that originate 5 cm (2 in) or more above the ground line, although the  incidence of this rot is less in chestnut oak than in other oaks. The more  important decay-causing fungi of chestnut oak in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and  Illinois are Inonotus andersonii, Stereum gausapatum, Spongipellis  pachyodon, Wolfiporia cocos, Inonotus dryophilus, Xylobolus frustulatusPerenniporia compacta, and Armillaria mellea (3,13).

  Chestnut oak and white oak are the two species most preferred by the  gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar). Other important defoliators of chestnut  oak are the spring and fall cankerworms (Paleacrita Vernata and  Alsophila pometaria), the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma  disstria) and the half-wing geometer (Phigalia titea) (1,14,34).

    Chestnut oak is more resistant to wood borers than most oaks but is  particularly susceptible to attack by ambrosia beetles, especially the  Columbian timber beetle (Corthylus columbianus) and several species of  the genera Platypus and Xyleborus; these beetles are particularly  damaging to trees that have been weakened by fire or drought. The more  important wood borers that attack chestnut oak are the oak timberworm  (Arrhenodes minutus), the carpenterworm (Prionoxystus robiniae),  and the little carpenterworm (P. macmurtrei).

  Chestnut oaks are also susceptible to several gallforming wasps  (Cynipidae), a pit scale (Asterolecanium quercicola), and the  golden oak scale (A. variolosum). These insects may kill twigs and  branches but rarely kill mature trees.

  The acorns of chestnut oak are frequently infested with larvae of the  nut weevils Curculio spp. and Conotrachelus spp., the moth  Valentinia glandulella, and the cynipid gall wasps (Cynipidae).  However, one study indicated that chestnut oak acorns may have lower insect  infestation rates than acorns of other oaks (2).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Reaction to Competition

Chestnut oak is intermediate in shade  tolerance. Among the oaks, it is similar in tolerance to white oak, but more  tolerant than northern red, black, or scarlet oak. In closed stands in the  Appalachian region, most chestnut oak reproduction lives only a few years. In  partial shade, however, seedling sprout advance reproduction may persist for  many years. These stems grow slowly and die back and resprout periodically but  are capable of rapid growth if released.

  In the Appalachian region, chestnut oak typically occupies intermediate  to poor sites where it is considered to be the physiographic climax. It is  excluded from the more mesic sites by species that grow more rapidly in the  seedling and sapling stages, such as northern red, black, and white oaks;  yellow-poplar; sugar and red maples; and black cherry. The most xeric sites are  typically occupied by species even better adapted to such conditions, such as  scarlet oak, post oak, and pitch pine (8,21,23).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Rooting Habit

Chestnut oak seedlings initially develop a deep  tap root but later lose this configuration. Saplings and larger trees have a  root system consisting of 6 to 10 main lateral roots extending 3 to 10 m (10 to  33 ft) from the root crown at depths from near the soil surface to 91 cm (36  in). Numerous secondary roots branch off these main laterals, and a dense mat  of fine roots develops near the soil surface. The root system extends over an  area approximately five times that of the crown area. The roots of chestnut oak  are slightly deeper than those of northern red oak but not as deep as those of  white oak (29).

  Chestnut oak seedlings maintain much higher root starch levels during  the growing season than white oak or northern red oak and have a higher  root-to-shoot ratio and a more rapid initial root development rate than  northern red oak. These factors may partially account for the species  adaptability to xeric sites (10,16).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering mid-late spring.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

When tops die back or are damaged,  chestnut oak seedlings and advance reproduction sprout vigorously from dormant  buds at the root collar or on the stem. For stems of advanced reproduction that  have been cut, the number of sprouts per plant and the growth of the sprouts  increase with increasing size of the original stem and root system (25). Stumps  of cut trees up to 60 years of age sprout vigorously, but the percent of stumps  that sprout declines with increasing size for trees more than 46 cm (18 in) in  d.b.h. Incidence of decay is low for stump sprouts that originate within 5 cm  (2 in) of the ground and such sprouts can develop into high-quality trees.  Sprouting frequency and vigor are greater from stumps of trees cut during the  dormant season than from those cut during the growing season (24,35).

  It has been estimated that 75 percent of the chestnut oak reproduction  in the southern Appalachians is of sprout origin (4).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Seedling Development

Chestnut oak acorns have no dormancy and  therefore germinate in the fall. Germination is hypogeal (22). If temperatures  are below 16° C (61° F), however, shoot (but not root) development is  inhibited by an induced epicotyl dormancy. This dormancy is broken by chilling  during the winter, and normal shoot development resumes in the spring (9). Some  acorns germinate at day/night temperatures of 100/20 C (500/350 F), but most  germinate at temperatures at or above 180/10° C or 65°/50° F).  Chestnut oak acorns are much more capable of germinating in dry soil than  acorns of white, black, or northern red oak. This difference may be due to a  thick parenchyma layer in the acorn pericarp that allows them to absorb and  retain more moisture than acorns of other oaks (17).

  Germination of chestnut oak acorns is enhanced by a covering of leaf  litter 2 or 3 cm (I in) deep, but a covering of more than about 5 cm (2 in)  results in many etiolated seedlings. Large numbers of seedlings can become  established after good seed years, but such years occur infrequently. Seedling  establishment and survival are greatly reduced by dense herbaceous and shrub  layers.

  Chestnut oak seedlings grow slowly. In Indiana, the height of seedlings  10 years after establishment averaged 15 cm (6 in) in an uncut forest, 24 cm (9  in) where release cuttings were made, and 146 cm (58 in) in a clearcut. In  contrast to this slow seedling growth, chestnut oak sprouts in the clearcut  were more than 6.4 m (21 ft) tall (4). The seedlings are capable of rapid  growth, however, when growing conditions are near optimal. In one nursery  study, chestnut oak seedlings produced an average of 4.3 growth flushes during  the first growing season and exceeded bear oak and white oak, and equaled or  exceeded northern red oak in height, dry weight, and leaf area. Growth of these  seedlings was highly correlated with initial leaf area, which in turn was  correlated with acorn size (11).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Seed Production and Dissemination

Chestnut oak acorns mature in  one growing season and drop from early September to early October, 2 to 5 weeks  before the acorns of other upland oaks. Production of chestnut oak acorns is  erratic, and heavy crops occur only once every 4 or 5 years. In general,  chestnut oak produces fewer acorns than other upland oaks, although occasional  trees can be prolific seed producers (2).

  Chestnut oak begins producing seed at about age 20, but stump sprouts as  young as 3 years can produce viable seed, and coppice stands as young as 7 or 8  years can have abundant acorn production. The germinative capacity of sound  acorns is around 90 percent. Dissemination is primarily by gravity and  squirrels (4,22,26).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Flowering and Fruiting

Chestnut oak is monoecious; the flowers  develop in the spring at the time of bud-break and leaf development. The  staminate flowers are borne on aments (catkins) that originate from buds in the  terminal bud cluster of the previous year's shoots. Development of the aments  begins with the first expansion of these buds, when minimum air temperatures  remain above 10° C (50° F) for more than 10 days. Pistillate flowers  develop on short stalks in the axils of the new leaves from 5 to 10 days after  the aments emerge. Pollination is by wind; pollen dispersal occurs 10 to 20  days after the aments emerge and is controlled largely by weather. Above-normal  temperatures in late April followed by 13 to 20 days of below-normal  temperatures in early May enhance successful pollination and the development of  large acorn crops. The early warm period promotes the development of the  aments, shoot expansion, and pistillate flower development, and the later cool  period delays pollen dispersal to better coincide with pistillate flower  maturation. Uniformly increasing temperatures during this period usually result  in poor pollination and small acorn crops (27,28).

  Chestnut oak produces an abundant crop of aments every year, but the  production of pistillate flowers varies considerably from year to year; trees  that produce a large crop of flowers and acorns one year usually produce fewer  flowers the following year.

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Growth

Growth and Yield

Chestnut oak is a mediumsize tree; at maturity  it usually attains a height of 20 to 24 m (65 to 80 ft) and a d.b.h. of 51 to  76 cm (20 to 30 in) depending on site quality. Maximum dimensions are  approximately 30 m (100 ft) in height and 183 cm (72 in) in d.b.h. (4). In  mixed oak stands, the height growth of adjacent dominant and codominant  chestnut, scarlet, northern red, and black oaks is about equal and is greater  than that of white oaks (7,33). White, chestnut, black, and scarlet oaks of  equal site index (height at base age 50 years) have similar height growth  patterns up to about age 60. Beyond this age, white oak maintains a better  height growth rate than the other three species and, at site indexes below  about 18.3 in (60 ft) chestnut oak maintains a height growth intermediate  between that of white oak and the black and scarlet oaks (5). On comparable  sites in West Virginia, diameter growth of chestnut oak is generally greater  than that of white oak, the same as that of scarlet oak, hickory, and beech  (Fagus grandifolia), but less than that of northern red and black oaks,  yellow-poplar, sugar maple, basswood (Tilia americana), black cherry,  and white ash (Fraxinus americana) (30,31).

  Sawtimber yield from chestnut oak stands on dry slopes and ridges in the  southern Appalachians is about 98.0 m³/ha (7,000 fbm/acre) at age 80. On  average sites, maximum periodic growth is about 1.4 m³/ha (100 fbm/acre)  per year at age 100 (4).

  On the better sites, chestnut oak has good form and maintains a bole  that is relatively clear of branches and sprouts, although many epicormic  sprouts develop if the bole is exposed to sunlight (32).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

No races of chestnut oak are known. Chestnut oak hybridizes with  Quercus alba (Q. x saulii Schneid.); Q. bicolor; Q. robur (Q.  x sargentii Rehd.); and Q. stellata (Q. x bernardiensis W. Wolf)  (19).

  • 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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Special Uses

The acorns of chestnut oak, along with those of the other oaks, are an  important food for many wildlife species including deer, turkeys, squirrels,  chipmunks, and mice. Chestnut oak lumber is similar to and marketed as white  oak (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)

Robert A. McQuilkin

Source: Silvics of North America

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Quercus prinus

Quercus prinus (syn. Quercus montana), the chestnut oak, is a species of oak in the white oak group, Quercus sect. Quercus. It is native to the eastern United States, where it is one of the most important ridgetop trees from southern Maine southwest to central Mississippi, with an outlying northwestern population in southern Michigan. It is also sometimes called "rock oak" because of montane and other rocky habitats. As a consequence of its dry habitat and ridgetop exposure, it is not usually a large tree, typically 18-22m (60–70 ft) tall; occasional specimens growing in better conditions can however become large, with trees up to 40–43 m (130–140 ft) tall known. They tend to have a similar spread of 18-22m (60–70 ft). A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 5 m (16 ft) tall. This species is often an important canopy species in an oak-heath forest.[1][2]

Taxonomy and nomenclature[edit]

Extensive confusion between the chestnut oak (Quercus prinus) and the swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii) has occurred, and some botanists have considered them to be the same species in the past.

The name Quercus prinus was long used by many botanists and foresters for either the chestnut oak or the swamp chestnut oak, with the former otherwise called Q. montana or the latter otherwise called Q. michauxii. The application of the name Q. prinus to the chestnut oak is now often accepted,[3][4] although sometimes that name is declared to be of uncertain position, unassignable to either species, with the chestnut oak then called Q. montana, as in the Flora of North America.[5]

Description[edit]

The distinctive bark of the Chestnut Oak.

The chestnut oak is readily identified by its massively-ridged dark gray-brown bark, the thickest of any eastern North American oak. The leaves are 12–20 cm long and 6–10 cm broad, shallowly lobed with 10-15 rounded lobes on each margin; they are virtually identical to the leaves of swamp chestnut oak and chinkapin oak, but the trees can readily be distinguished by the bark, that of the chinkapin oak being a light ash-gray and somewhat peeling like that of the white oak and that of swamp chestnut oak being paler ash-gray and scaly. The chinkapin oak also has much smaller acorns than the chestnut oak. The chestnut oak is easily distinguished from the swamp white oak because that tree has whitened undersides on the leaves. Another important distinction between the chestnut oak and the swamp chestnut oak is by the habitat; if it grows on a ridge, it is chestnut oak, and if it grows in wet bottomlands, it is probably the more massive swamp chestnut oak; however, this is not fully reliable.

Characteristics of the chestnut oak include:[6]

  • Bark: Dark, fissured into broad ridges, scaly. Branchlets stout, at first bronze green, later they become reddish brown, finally dark gray or brown. Heavily charged with tannic acid.
  • Wood: Dark brown, sapwood lighter; heavy, hard, strong, tough, close-grained, durable in contact with the soil. Used for fencing, fuel, and railway ties. Sp. gr., 0.7499; weight of cu. ft., 46.73 lbs.
  • Winter buds: Light chestnut brown, ovate, acute, one-fourth to one-half of an inch long.
  • Leaves: Alternate, five to nine inches long, three to four and a half wide, obovate to oblong-lanceolate, wedge-shaped or rounded at base, coarsely crenately toothed, teeth rounded or acute, apex rounded or acute. They come out of the bud convolute, yellow green or bronze, shining above, very pubescent below. When full grown are thick, firm, dark yellow green, somewhat shining above, pale green and pubescent below; midribs stout, yellow, primary veins conspicuous. In autumn they turn a dull yellow soon changing to a yellow brown. Petioles stout or slender, short. Stipules linear to lanceolate, caducous.
  • Flowers: May, when leaves are one-third grown. Staminate flowers are borne in hairy aments two to three inches long; calyx pale yellow, hairy, deeply seven to nine-lobed; stamens seven to nine; anthers bright yellow. Pistillate flowers on short spikes; peduncles green, stout, hairy; involucral scales hairy; stigmas short, bright red.
  • Acorns: Annual, singly or in pairs; nut oval, rounded or acute at apex, bright chestnut brown, shining, one and a quarter to one and one-half inches in length; cup, cup-shaped or turbinate, usually inclosing one-half or one-third of the nut, thin, light brown and downy within, reddish brown and rough outside, tuberculate near the base. Scales small, much crowded toward the rim sometimes making a fringe. Kernel white, sweetish.

The acorns of the chestnut oak are 1.5–3 cm long and 1–2 cm broad,[citation needed] among the largest of native American oaks, surpassed in size only by the bur oak and possibly swamp chestnut oak,[citation needed]

Ecology[edit]

Chestnut oak sometimes grow on rocks

This species is a predominant ridge-top tree in eastern North American hardwood forests. It often grows with multiple trunks, often as a result of prior injury to the main stem. It is a long-lived tree, with high-quality timber when well-formed. The acorns of the chestnut oak are a valuable wildlife food.[citation needed]

Uses[edit]

Chestnut oak trees are generally not the best timber trees because they are usually branched low and not very straight, but when they grow in better conditions, they are valuable for timber, which is marketed as 'mixed white oak'.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Natural Communities of Virginia Classification of Ecological Community Groups (Version 2.3), Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2010
  2. ^ Schafale, M. P. and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina: third approximation. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation.
  3. ^ ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) accepts Q. prinus as the accepted name for the chestnut oak.
  4. ^ The confusion arose from differing identifications of the type specimens for the Linnaean name, by some (but not all) botanists considered resolved by close examination of the leaf pubescence, which differs in the two species.
  5. ^ "Quercus montana". Flora of North America. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Keeler, Harriet L. (1900). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons. pp. 338–344. 

Additional references[edit]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Notes

Comments

The name Quercus prinus Linnaeus is often applied to this species, particularly in the forestry literature, and in many regional floras. In a number of works, however, Q . prinus has been applied to the species here treated as Q . michauxii . Following the recommendations of J. W. Hardin (1979), because of the persistent confusion in the application of the name Q . prinus and uncertainty regarding the identity of the Linnean type materials, the names Q . montana and Q . michauxii should be used for the two species that have been variously called Q . prinus . Quercus prinus under this interpretation is a name of uncertain position. 

 The four species of the chestnut oak group in eastern North America ( Quercus montana , Q . michauxii , Q . muhlenbergii , and Q . prinoides ) are somewhat difficult to distinguish unless careful attention is paid to features of leaf vestiture and fruit and cup morphology. Attempts to identify these species mostly or solely on basis of leaf shape and dentition (as in many other oak species complexes) have resulted in a plethora of misidentified material in herbaria and erroneous reports in the literature. The closely appressed, asymmetric trichomes on the abaxial surface of the mature leaf, in combination with longer simple hairs along the midvein, are unique to Q . montana among North American species of Quercus . Immature leaves and densely shaded leaves sometimes exhibit a more erect trichome that could be confused with the longer, felty hairs of Q . michauxii , so it is important to evaluate mature sun leaves when possible.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: This species is called Quercus montana in many floras. The name Quercus prinus is considered ambiguous by Flora North America vol. 3 (1997), possibly applying instead to the plant otherwise known as Q. michauxii. However, this name, Q. prinus, has never been formally rejected, and is applied by Kartesz to this taxon (LEM 6Dec93).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!