Overview

Brief Summary

Fagaceae -- Beech family

    M. B. Edwards

    Swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii) is known also as  basket oak, for the baskets made from its wood, and cow oak  because cows eat the acorns. One of the important timber trees of  the South, it grows on moist and wet loamy soils of bottom lands,  along streams and borders of swamps in mixed hardwoods. The high  quality wood is used in all kinds of construction and for  implements. The acorns are sweet and serve as food to wildlife.

  • 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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M. B. Edwards

Source: Silvics of North America

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Comprehensive Description

Description

Quecus michauxii Nutt., swamp chestnut oak, grows along the Atlantic Coastal Plain from New Jersey south to north Florida, and west to east Texas; its range extends up the Mississippi River Valley to Illinois and Ohio.

It is a medium-size to large tree that grows up to over 100 feet tall, with a trunk to over 6 feet in diameter, and a thick, scaly, loose, light-gray bark. The leaves are deciduous, somewhat oval, and 4 to 9 inches long; they are short-pointed at the tip, tapering to rounded at the base, with numerous shallow lobes or rounded teeth along the edges, dark green, smooth above and softly hairy beneath. Leafstalks are 1 inch long. The acorns are large and usually produced singly or in clusters of 2 or 3. There are 85 acorns per pound.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Alternative names

basket oak, cow oak

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Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Occurrence in North America

     AL  CT  DE  GA  IL  IN  KY  ME  MD  MA
     MI  MS  NJ  NH  NY  NC  OH  PA  RI  SC
     TN  VA  VT  WV

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Chestnut oak occurs primarily in the Appalachian Mountains and adjacent
hill country.  Chestnut oak is distributed from southwestern Maine west
through New York to extreme southern Ontario and extreme southeastern
Michigan, south through southern Indiana and extreme southern Illinois
to extreme northeastern Mississippi, east through northern Alabama to
Georgia, and north along the Piedmont to Delaware.  Chestnut oak is rare
on the Southeastern Coastal Plain, but occurs along the coast in
Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and in the New England states [38,49].
  • 38.  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]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]

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Swamp chestnut oak occurs from Maryland south along the coast to
northern Florida, west through the Gulf Coast States to eastern Texas,
and north through eastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, southeastern
Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, and parts of Kentucky [16].
  • 16. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1971. Atlas of the United States trees. Volume 1. Conifers and important hardwoods. Misc. Publ. 1146. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 320 p. [1462]

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Occurrence in North America

AL AR FL GA IL IN KY LA MS MO
NC SC TN TX VA

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Swamp chestnut oak extends along the Atlantic Coastal Plain from  New Jersey and extreme eastern Pennsylvania, south to north  Florida, and west to east Texas; it is found north in the  Mississippi River Valley to extreme southeast Oklahoma, Arkansas,  southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and  locally to southeast Kentucky and eastern Tennessee (6).

   
  -The native range of swamp 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)

M. B. Edwards

Source: Silvics of North America

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Ala., Ark., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Distribution and adaptation

Although the species is widely distributed on the best well-drained loamy first-bottom ridges, it is principally found on well-drained silty clay, loamy terraces, and colluvial (rocky deposit) sites in the bottomlands of large and small streams.

For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: monoecious, root crown, tree

Chestnut oak is a medium-sized, native, deciduous, monoecious tree.  It
is long-lived and slow-growing.  At maturity, chestnut oak is usually 65
to 80 feet (20-24 m) tall and 20 to 30 inches (51-76 cm) in d.b.h., but
on good sites it can reach a maximum size of 100 feet (30 m) in height
and 72 inches (183 cm) in d.b.h.  Seedlings initially develop a deep
taproot, but saplings and larger trees have six to ten main lateral
roots extending 10 to 33 feet (3-10 m) from the root crown.  These roots
occur from near the soil surface to a depth of 36 inches (91 cm) [49].
The acorns are large [6].
  • 6.  Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State        University Press. 362 p.  [12914]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]

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Description

More info for the terms: swamp, tree

Swamp chestnut oak is a native deciduous tree that reaches heights of 60
to 80 feet (20-25 m) and diameters of 2 to 3 feet (0.6-1 m) [30].
Maximum height is 130 feet (40 m), with a diameter of 7 feet (2.2 m).
The crown is round, compacted, and narrow. It is distinguished from
other oaks by 9 to 14 parallel lateral veins on each side of its leaves.
The underside of its leaves are hairy and about 11 inches (28 cm) wide
and 6.3 inches (16 cm) long [5]. Its bark is scaly, furrowed, and grey.
The swamp chestnut oak fruit is a one-seeded acorn (rarely two seeds)
that occurs singly or in clusters [22]. Acorns are about 1 to 1.4
inches (2.5-3.5 cm) long; the top is enclosed by a scaly cap, which can
cover as much as one-third of the acorn [5].
  • 5. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 22. 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]
  • 30. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p. [1913]

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Description

Trees , deciduous, to 20 m. Bark light brown or gray, scaly. Twigs brown or reddish brown, 2-3 mm diam., with sparse spreading hairs or glabrate. Buds reddish brown, ovoid, apex rounded or acute, glabrous or minutely puberulent. Leaves: petiole 5-20 mm. Leaf blade broadly obovate or broadly elliptic, (60-)100-280 × 50-180 mm, base rounded-acuminate or broadly cuneate, margins regularly toothed, teeth rounded, dentate, or acuminate, secondary veins 15-20 on each side, parallel, straight or somewhat curved, apex broadly rounded or acuminate; surfaces abaxially light green or yellowish, felty to touch because of conspicuous or minute, erect, 1-4-rayed hairs, adaxially glabrous or with minute simple or fascicled hairs. Acorns 1-3, subsessile or more often on axillary peduncle to 20-30 mm; cup hemispheric, broadly hemispheric or even short-cylindric, 15-25 mm deep × 25-40 mm wide, enclosing 1/2 nut or more, scales very loosely appressed, distinct to base, gray or light brown, moderately to heavily tuberculate, tips silky-tomentose; nut light brown, ovoid or cylindric, 25-35 × 20-25 mm, glabrous. Cotyledons distinct.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Quercus houstoniana C. H. Muller
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Type Information

Isotype for Quercus houstoniana C.H. Mull.
Catalog Number: US 1433275
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): E. J. Palmer
Year Collected: 1917
Locality: San Augustine., San Augustine, Texas, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Muller, C. H. 1942. Amer. Midl. Naturalist. 28: 743.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: codominant, cover, hardwood, litter, mesic, shrub, xeric

Chestnut oak, an upland xerophytic species, commonly occurs on ridgetops
and upper slopes.  It occurs from sea level on the coastal plain of New
Jersey and Long Island, New York, to about 4,600 feet (1,400 m) in the
southern Appalachians [49].  It can occur on all aspects; however, it is
usually on south- and west-facing upper slopes and on north and easterly
aspects in the southern Piedmont [25,49,54].  In the Ridge and Valley
Province of central Pennsylvania, chestnut oak dominated the steep
inclines and xeric ridgetop communities.  It decreased in importance on
mesic sites, although on some coarse-textured valley and cove sites,
chestnut oak was codominant with white oak [56].

Chestnut oak is usually found on dry, rocky, infertile soil with a low
moisture-holding capacity, although it grows best in rich, well-drained
soils along streams [49].  In southeastern Pennsylvania, Keever [33]
discovered that many of the ridge sites that chestnut oak dominates have
good soil moisture.  Presumably, these ridges get more precipitation than
lower elevations.  It is unclear why other species are excluded from
these ridgetop sites, although its possible that more mesic species
cannot endure occasional drought, which may be more severe on these
sites [33].  The infertile rocky soil, steep slopes, and exposed
conditions may also select against other forest species [46].

In 51 upland hardwood stands in the Piedmont of Virginia, chestnut oak
was important on sites with low soil calcium, magnesium, and pH [19].
Chestnut oak is commonly found on acidic soils derived from sandstone,
quartzite, and coarse-grained schists [8,54]. 

In the Hudson River Valley in New York, chestnut oak forests differed
significantly (P less than 0.05) from white oak-black oak-pignut hickory (Carya
glabra) forests and red maple (Acer rubrum) forests in several site
characteristics.  Chestnut oak forests were more likely to have exposed
bedrock (67 percent of the stands), have a higher percent cover of bare
ground by rocks (5.28 percent), and have deeper litter (1.3 inches [3.4
cm]) [24].

Overstory associates not mentioned in Distribution and Occurrence
include scarlet oak, post oak (Q. stellata), hickories, sweet birch
(Betula lenta), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), blackgum (Nyssa
sylvatica), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), black cherry (Prunus
serotina), black walnut (Juglans nigra), red maple, sugar maple (Acer
saccharum), sourwood (Oxydendron arboreum), and black locust (Robinia
pseudoacacia).  Shrub associates include blueberry (Vaccinium spp.),
dwarf chinkapin oak (Q. prinoides), mountain-laurel (Kalmia latifolia),
Rhododendron spp., sumac (Rhus spp.), greenbrier (Smilax spp.), grape
(Vitis spp.), and Ceanothus spp. [25,49].  Pure and almost pure stands
of chestnut oak have sparse ground vegetation [6].
  • 6.  Braun, E. Lucy. 1961. The woody plants of Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State        University Press. 362 p.  [12914]
  • 8.  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]
  • 19.  Farrell, John D.; Ware, Stewart. 1991. Edaphic factors and forest        vegetation in the piedmont of Virgina. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical        Club. 118(2): 161-169.  [15694]
  • 24.  Glitzenstein, Jeff S.; Canham, Charles D.; McDonnell, Mark J.; Streng,        Donna R. 1990. Effects of environment and land-use history on upland        forests of the Cary Arboretum, Hudson Valley, New York. Bulletin of the        Torrey Botanical Club. 117(2): 106-122.  [13301]
  • 25.  Golden, Michael S. 1979. Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama        Piedmont. Ecology. 60(4): 770-782.  [9643]
  • 33.  Keever, Catherine. 1973. Distribution of major forest species in        southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecological Monographs. 43(3): 303-327.        [19550]
  • 46.  Martin, William H.; DeSelm, Hal R. 1976. Forest communities of dissected        uplands in the Great Valley of east Tennessee. 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: 11-29.  [3810]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 54.  Nelson, John B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina.        Columbia, SC: South Carolina Wildlife & Marine Resources Department. 54        p.  [15578]
  • 56.  Nowacki, Gregory J.; Abrams, Marc D. 1991. Community and edaphic        analysis of mixed oak forests in the Ridge and Valley Province of        central Pennsylvania. In: McCormick, Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds.        Proceedings, 8th central hardwood forest conference; 1991 March 4-6;        University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station:        247-260.  [15315]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the term: natural

Chestnut oak is an important species of eastern upland deciduous and
coniferous forests and may occur in pure stands [17].  It constitutes an
important component of the subcanopy and canopy layers of Table Mountain
pine (Pinus pungens) forests [80].  Chestnut oak codominates with
eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) on particularly steep east-facing
slopes in the Hudson River Valley in New York [24].

Because of the high mortality of American chestnut (Castanea dentata)
caused by the chestnut blight fungus (Endothia parasitica) introduced
from Asia in the early 1900's, the former Appalachian oak (Quercus
spp.)-American chestnut forest is now dominated by chestnut oak, white
oak, and northern red oak (Q. rubra) [29,33,49,79].  Keever [33]
recommends that former oak-American chestnut forests be named chestnut
oak forests.

The following published classifications list chestnut oak as dominant
or codominant:

Deciduous Forest [26]
Vegetation of the Great Smoky Mountains [79]
The Natural Communities of South Carolina [54]
Eastern Deciduous Forest [74]
Forest Vegetation of the Lower Alabama Piedmont [25]
The Natural Forests of Maryland:  an explanation of the vegetation map
    of Maryland [8]
  • 17.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905]
  • 8.  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]
  • 24.  Glitzenstein, Jeff S.; Canham, Charles D.; McDonnell, Mark J.; Streng,        Donna R. 1990. Effects of environment and land-use history on upland        forests of the Cary Arboretum, Hudson Valley, New York. Bulletin of the        Torrey Botanical Club. 117(2): 106-122.  [13301]
  • 25.  Golden, Michael S. 1979. Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama        Piedmont. Ecology. 60(4): 770-782.  [9643]
  • 26.  Greller, Andrew M. 1988. Deciduous forest. In: Barbour, Michael G.;        Billings, William Dwight, eds. North American terrestrial vegetation.        Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press: 288-316.  [19544]
  • 29.  Harmon, Mark E. 1984. Survival of trees after low-intensity surface        fires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ecology. 65(3): 796-802.        [10997]
  • 33.  Keever, Catherine. 1973. Distribution of major forest species in        southeastern Pennsylvania. Ecological Monographs. 43(3): 303-327.        [19550]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 54.  Nelson, John B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina.        Columbia, SC: South Carolina Wildlife & Marine Resources Department. 54        p.  [15578]
  • 74.  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]
  • 79.  Whittaker, R. H. 1956. Vegetation of the Great Smoky Mountains.        Ecological Monographs. 26(1): 1-79.  [11108]
  • 80.  Williams, Charles E.; Johnson, W. Carter. 1990. Age structure and the        maintenance of Pinus pungens in pine-oak forests of southwestern        Virginia. American Midland Naturalist. 124(1): 130-141.  [12747]

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Habitat characteristics

More info for the term: swamp

Swamp chestnut oak grows along streamsides, swamp borders, river
bottomlands, and ravines up to 1,000 feet (300 m) in elevation [5]. It
grows best in moderately well-drained silty clays and loams; it can
tolerate saturated or flooded soils for a few days to a few weeks during
the growing season [1]. It grows in limestone and phosphatic soils in
the Southeastern Coastal Plain of Florida [19]. It is an occasional
species in hydric hammocks of central and coastal Florida, which are
characterized by somewhat poorly drained sandy and loamy marine soils
over limestone [28].

Some overstory associates of swamp chestnut oak include willow oak
(Quercus phellos), white oak (Q. alba), cherrybark oak (Q. falcat var.
pagodaefolia), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), beech (Fagus
grandifolia), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), river birch (Betula
nigra), southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera), loblolly pine (Pinus
taeda), and longleaf pine (P. palustris). Understory associates include
greenbriar (Smilax spp.), holly (Ilex spp.), wild grape (Vitis spp.),
and poison ivy (Toxicodendron spp.) [3,28].
  • 5. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 1. Allen, James A.; Kennedy, Harvey E., Jr. 1989. Bottomland hardwood reforestation in the lower Mississippi Valley. Slidell, LA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Research Center; Stoneville, MS: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experimental Station. 28 p. [15293]
  • 3. Beaven, George Francis; Oosting, Henry J. 1939. Pocomoke Swamp: a study of a cypress swamp on the eastern shore of Maryland. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 66: 376-389. [14507]
  • 19. Monk, Carl D. 1968. Successional and environmental relationships of the forest vegetation of north central Florida. American Midland Naturalist. 79(2): 441-457. [10847]
  • 28. Vince, Susan W.; Humphrey, Stephen R.; Simons, Robert W. 1989. The ecology of hydric hammocks: A community profile. Biological Rep. 85(7.26). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Research and Development. 82 p. [17976]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: climax, hardwood

Swamp chestnut oak is representative of upland climax communities in the
Southeastern Coastal Plain. It is also listed in vegetation type
classifications of the southern mixed hardwood forests of central
Florida [19].
  • 19. Monk, Carl D. 1968. Successional and environmental relationships of the forest vegetation of north central Florida. American Midland Naturalist. 79(2): 441-457. [10847]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

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

39 Black ash - American elm - red maple
44 Chestnut oak
53 White oak
57 Yellow-poplar
59 Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak
63 Cottonwood
64 Sassafras - persimmon
65 Pin oak - sweet gum
70 Longleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
88 Willow oak - water oak - diamondleaf oak
89 Live oak
91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak
92 Sweetgum - willow oak
93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash
94 Sycamore - sweetgum - American elm
95 Black willow
96 Overcup oak - water hickory
101 Baldcypress
102 Baldcypress - tupelo
103 Water tupelo - swamp tupelo
104 Sweetbay - swamp tupelo - redbay
108 Red maple

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

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):

   FRES10  White - red - jack pine
   FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine
   FRES14  Oak - pine
   FRES15  Oak - hickory
   FRES18  Maple - beech - birch

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

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
FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood
FRES18 Maple - beech - birch

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

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

    21  Eastern white pine
    22  White pine - hemlock
    43  Bear oak
    44  Chestnut oak
    45  Pitch pine
    51  White pine - chestnut oak
    52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak
    53  White oak
    78  Virginia pine - oak
    79  Virginia pine
   108  Red maple
   110  Black oak

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

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

   K095  Great Lakes pine forest
   K103  Mixed mesophytic forest
   K104  Appalachian oak forest
   K110  Northeastern oak - pine forest
   K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

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

K089 Blackbelt
K100 Oak - hickory forest
K101 Elm - ash forest
K102 Beech - maple forest
K112 Southern mixed forest
K113 Southern floodplain forest
K114 Pocosin

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Soils and Topography

The species is distributed widely on the best welldrained loamy  first-bottom ridges but is principally found on well-drained  silty clay and loamy terraces and colluvial sites in the bottom  lands of large and small streams. Bayboro clay loam is  representative of the edaphic condition that promotes the best  growth of swamp chestnut oak in coastal South Carolina (4). These  soils are found in the orders Alfisols and Inceptisols.

  • 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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M. B. Edwards

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

Swamp chestnut oak grows in a humid, temperate climate  characterized by hot summers, mild and short winters, and no  distinct dry season. The growing season usually averages from 200  to 250 days through the main section of its commercial range.  Average annual temperature ranges from 16° to 21° C (60°  to 70° F) with an average annual precipitation of 1270 to  1520 min (50 to 60 in). The average annual maximum temperature is  38° C (100° F) and the average annual minimum is about  -9° C (15° F). Approximately 50 percent of the rainfall  occurs from April to September. The average noonday relative  humidity is about 60 percent in mid-July.

  • 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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M. B. Edwards

Source: Silvics of North America

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Bottomlands, rich sandy woods and swamps, on variety of soils; 0-600m.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Dispersal

Establishment

Although it is not a prolific sprouter, swamp chestnut oak can vegetatively reproduce by sprouts from roots and stumps. Regeneration from seed is greatly hindered by animal activity. Seed germination takes place soon following seedfall, with literally no period of dormancy. A moist, well-drained loam, covered with a light litter layer, provides an excellent seedbed. It is site sensitivity with growth greatly influenced by soil type and drainage. Acorns may be drilled in rows 8 to 10 inches apart or broadcast and covered with ¼ inch of firmed soil.

In a nursery setting, seedbed densities of 10 to 35 acorns per square foot are recommended. Fall-sown beds should be mulched to protect seeds and seedlings. Partial shade is beneficial for germination. Seedlings are transplanted after the first year.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Associations

Associated Forest Cover

Swamp chestnut oak is found in the forest cover type Swamp  Chestnut Oak-Cherrybark Oak (Society of American Foresters Type  91), which varies widely in composition (2). Often swamp chestnut  oak and cherrybark oak (Quercus falcata var. pagodifoliamake up a majority of the stocking although if many species  are in the mixture, they may account for only a plurality. Other  hardwoods are white ash (Fraxinus americana), shagbark  (Carya ovata), shellbark (C. laciniosa), mockernut  (C. tomentosa), and bitternut (C. cordiformis) hickory  Chief associates are white oak Quercus alba), Delta post  oak (Q. stellata var. paludosa), Shumard oak (Q.  shumardii), and blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica). Occasionally,  sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is important on  first-bottom ridges. Minor associates include willow oak Quercus  phellos), southern red oak (Q. falcata var. falcata),  post oak (Q. stellata), American elm (Ulmus  americana), winged elm (U. alata), southern  magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron  tulipifera), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), loblolly  pine (Pinus taeda), and spruce pine (P. glabra).

    Among the noncommercial trees or plant associates are  devils-walkingstick (Aralia spinosa), painted buckeye  (Aesculus sylvatica), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), American  hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), swamp dogwood (Cornus  stricta), dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor), Coastal Plain  willow (Salix caroliniana), American snowbell (Styrax  americanus), southern arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum), and  possumhaw viburnum (V nudum).

  • 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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M. B. Edwards

Source: Silvics of North America

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

Numerous fungi and insects damage swamp  chestnut oak. The fungi include wood-decaying species of FomesPolyporus, and Stereum. Oak leaf blister (Taphrina  caerulescens) is sporadic in occurrence, as is oak  anthracnose (Gnomonia veneta) (3).

    Swamp chestnut oak acorns are attacked by weevils such as Curculio  pardalis, Conotrachelus naso, and C. posticatuswhich consume the seed. Insect defoliators that attack the  swamp chestnut are June beetles (Phyllophaga spp.),  orangestriped oakworm (Anisota senatoria), fall  cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria), spring cankerworm (Paleacrita  vernata), forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria),  yellownecked caterpillar (Datana ministra), variable  oakleaf caterpillar (Heterocampa manteo), and the  redhumped oakworm (Symmerista canicosta).

    Borers that attack healthy trees are the red oak borer (Enaphalodes  rufulus) in cambium and outer sapwood; carpenterworms (Prionoxystus  spp.), in heartwood and sapwood; and the Columbian timber  beetle (Corthylus columbianus), in the sapwood. Those  attacking weakened trees include the twolined chestnut borer (Agrilus  bilineatus), in cambium; and the tilehorned prionus (Prionus  imbricornis), in roots. Dying trees are attacked by the oak  timberworm (Arrhenodes minutus) (1).

    The golden oak scale (Asterolecanium variolosum) kills  reproduction and tops in older trees. The gouty oak gall (Callirhytis  quercuspunctata) and homed oak gall (C. cornigera)  injure small limbs, while the basswood leafminer (Baliosus  ruber) attacks the leaves.

  • 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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M. B. Edwards

Source: Silvics of North America

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: hardwood, relative dominance, resistance, tree

Prescribed fire is often used to control hardwoods and promote the
establishment of pine.  In a study on the South Carolina Piedmont,
spring felling of leafed-out residual oaks (chestnut, scarlet, and
black) followed by summer burning produced greater reductions of
dominant sprout height and sprout clump crown diameters at the end of
the first postfire growing season than did winter felling followed by
summer broadcast burning.  Spring felling was probably more effective
because carbohydrate root reserves are low after leaves emerge [22].

Equations have been developed to predict lumber value losses due to fire
wounding of chestnut oak [42].  An equation has also been developed to
predict the size of a fire wound on a chestnut oak from the area of the
exterior discolored bark and the diameter of the damaged tree [55].

While fire has been suggested as a tool for improving upland oak
regeneration, it has been used with only mixed success [44].  Five- to
six-year-old naturally regenerating mixed hardwood stands were
prescribed burned in order to increase the relative dominance of oak.
The former harvested stands were 60 to 90 percent oak, but the
regenerating stand had a large number of yellow-poplar, black cherry,
and white ash (Fraxinus americana).  The fire retarded the development
of the young stand but did not increase the relative dominance of oak,
which was estimated to be not more than 30 to 40 percent of the future
stand.  The season of fire (spring versus fall) did not change the
outcome [47].  In such a stand, there may not be sufficient differences
in fire resistance between oak stems and those of other species for fire
to give oaks a distinct advantage [44].
  • 22.  Geisinger, Donn R.; Waldrop, Thomas A.; Haymond, Jacqueline L.; Van        Lear, David H. 1989. Sprout growth following winter and spring felling        with and without summer broadcast burning. 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: 91-95.  [10262]
  • 42.  Loomis, Robert M. 1974. Predicting the losses in sawtimber volume and        quality from fires in oak-hickory forests. NC-104. St. Paul, MN: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest        Experiment Station. 6 p.  [8712]
  • 44.  Lorimer, Craig G. 1985. The role of fire in the perpetuation of oak        forests. In:, Johnson, J. E., ed. Challenges in oak management and        utilization. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension        Service: 8-25.  [19543]
  • 47.  McGee, Charles E. 1980. The effect of fire on species dominance in young        upland hardwood stands. In: Proceedings, mid-south upland hardwood        symposium for the practicing forester and land manager; [Date of        conference unknown]
  • 55.  Nelson, Ralph M.; Sims, Ivan H.; Abell, Margaret S. 1933. Basal fire        wounds on some southern Appalachian hardwoods. Journal of Forestry. 31:        829-837.  [160]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: density, prescribed fire, tree

On the George Washington National Forest, West Virginia, a spring prescribed
fire decreased chestnut oak density in a mixed-hardwood forest. Average
chestnut oak seedling densities before fire and in postfire year 5 were 26
and 0 seedlings/acre, respectively; chestnut oak sprout densities were 947
sprouts/acre before and 316 sprouts/acre 5 years after the fire. See the Research Paper of Wendel and Smith's [81] study for details on the fire
prescription and fire effects on chestnut oak and 6 other tree species.

The following Research Project Summaries provide information on prescribed fire
use and postfire response of plant community species, including chestnut oak,
that was not available when this species review was originally written:

  • 81. Wendel, G. W.; Smith, H. Clay. 1986. Effects of a prescribed fire in a central Appalachian oak-hickory stand. NE-RP-594. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 8 p. [73936]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: severity, shrubs

Chestnut oak sprouts vigorously after being top-killed.  After a fire in
south-central New York, 100 percent of the top-killed chestnut oak
saplings (less than 4 inches [10 cm] in d.b.h.) sprouted, with an
average of 5.9 sprouts per top-killed stem.  Eleven percent of the
sampled saplings were not top-killed [71].

The mortality of oak trees from fire is often delayed.  Six months after
two surface fires of different severity in southern New York, living
butt-scorched trees (larger than 1 inch [2.5 cm] in d.b.h.) were tagged
for future study.  In the less severely burned area, 22 percent of the
tagged chestnut oak were dead 1.5 years after the fire.  Small diameter
trees, especially those less than 5 inches (12.7 cm) in d.b.h., had the
highest mortality.  In the other area that burned more severely because
of a dense understory of mountain-laurel, 41 percent of the tagged
chestnut oak were dead 1.5 years after the fire.  The authors concluded
that at least one postfire growing season must elapse before fire damage
to oaks can be accurately determined [70].

Fire may increase the growth rate of chestnut oak.  Three chestnut oaks,
that had suffered no crown damage from a winter fire, averaged 38
percent higher diameter growth rate in the first postfire year than the
4 years prior to the fire.  Unburned chestnut oaks did not show
increased growth rates.  Foliar phosphorus and calcium concentrations in
burned chestnut oak trees were higher than control trees through most of
the growing season.  In addition, the proportional phosphorus resorption
and both proportional and absolute calcium deposition in leaves was
higher in burned trees.  However, it is uncertain what caused the
increase in growth rate because other factors, such as a decrease in
competition from understory shrubs, also may have contributed to the
increased growth [5].
  • 5.  Boerner, Ralph E. J.; Lord, Thomas R.; Peterson, John C. 1988.        Prescribed burning in the oak-pine forest of the New Jersey Pine Barrens        : effects on growth and nutrient dynamics of two Quercus species.        American Midland Naturalist. 120(1): 108-119.  [8646]
  • 70.  Stickel, Paul W. 1935. Forest fire damage studies in the Northeast. II.        First-year mortality in burned-over oak stands. Journal of Forestry. 33:        595-598.  [18764]
  • 71.  Swan, Frederick R., Jr. 1970. Post-fire response of four plant        communities in south-central New York state. Ecology. 51(6): 1074-1082.        [3446]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: low-severity fire

Small chestnut oaks are top-killed by low-severity fire.  Surviving trees
may have basal fire wounds [49].

Acorns cannot withstand the amount of heat usually generated in leaf
litter fires [34].
  • 34.  Korstian, C. F. 1927. Factors controlling germination and early survival        of oaks. Bull. No. 19. New Haven, CT: Yale University, School of        Forestry. 115 p.  [19369]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the term: tree

   Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/root sucker

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: density, fire interval, frequency, hardwood, litter, root crown, surface fire

Chestnut oak is moderately resistant to fire [7].  In three separate
rankings, chestnut oak was listed as the most fire resistant of four oak
species: scarlet, chestnut, black, and white [69].  Large chestnut oaks
have fairly thick bark and, while more susceptible to basal wounding
than pines, they survive most ground fires [7].  Top-killed chestnut
oaks sprout vigorously from the root crown after fire [49].

Because bark thickens with age, the larger the fire interval is, the
greater is the chance of survival.  Based on a semilogarithmic model of
bark thickness and mortality, chestnut oak requires a fire interval of
14 years for 50 percent survival of a low-severity surface fire.  The
model was developed from data collected after low-severity surface fires
on south-facing slopes in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park [29].

A litter covering deeper than 2 inches (5 cm) is unfavorable for
chestnut oak acorn germination [49].  Fire removes excess litter and may
facilitate chestnut oak regeneration.  In an oak-pine forest in the New
Jersey pine barrens, chestnut oak seedling density was lowest in the
forest fragment that had not been recently burned and that had an
average litter depth of 2.4 inches (6.1 cm) [11].  However, the primary
mode of regeneration after fire appears to be sprouting.

The prevalent presettlement upland oak forests in the eastern and
central United States were associated with recurring fire.  These
forests probably burned at an intermediate frequency (50 to 100 year
intervals), which promoted the dominance and stability of oak [1].
Oak-hickory forests are usually not conducive to high-severity fires,
but surface fires are easily ignited and spread rapidly under favorable
conditions [13].  Periodic fire opens the canopy and sets back
competition, providing an opportunity for upland oaks to regenerate and
maintain dominance [1].  Fifty-five years after a late summer fire in
south-central Connecticut, absolute and relative amounts of oak
(chestnut, scarlet, black, white, and northern red) were higher on
burned areas than adjacent unburned areas [77].  However, a fire in a 5
to 6-year old mixed hardwood stand did not affect relative species
dominance, it merely retarded stand development [47].  The exact timing
and conditions of fire that favor oak dominance have not been
determined.
  • 1.  Abrams, Marc D. 1992. Fire and the development of oak forests.        BioScience. 42(5): 346-353.  [19215]
  • 7.  Brown, Arthur A.; Davis, Kenneth P. 1973. Forest fire control and use.        2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. 686 p.  [15993]
  • 11.  Collins, Scott L.; Good, Ralph E. 1987. The seedling regeneration niche:        habitat structure of tree seedlings in an oak-pine forest. Oikos. 48:        89-98.  [8637]
  • 13.  Crosby, John S.; Loomis, Robert M. 1974. Some forest floor fuelbed        characteristics of black oak stands in southeast Missouri. NC-162. St.        Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central        Forest Experiment Station. 4 p.  [8153]
  • 29.  Harmon, Mark E. 1984. Survival of trees after low-intensity surface        fires in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ecology. 65(3): 796-802.        [10997]
  • 47.  McGee, Charles E. 1980. The effect of fire on species dominance in young        upland hardwood stands. In: Proceedings, mid-south upland hardwood        symposium for the practicing forester and land manager; [Date of        conference unknown]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 69.  Spalt, Karl W.; Reifsnyder, William E. 1962. Bark characteristics and        fire resistance: a literature survey. Occas. Paper 193. New Orleans, LA:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest        Experiment Station. 19 p. In cooperation with: Yale University, School        of Forestry.  [266]
  • 77.  Ward, Jeffrey S.; Stephens, George R. 1989. Long-term effects of a 1932        surface fire on stand structure in a Connecticut mixed hardwood forest.        In: Rink, George; Budelsky, Carl A., eds. Proceedings, 7th central        hardwood conference; 1989 March 5-8; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep.        NC-132. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        North Central Forest Experiment Station: 267-273.  [9389]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: association, climax, density, frequency, mesic

Facultative Seral Species

Chestnut oak is intermediate in shade tolerance.  Chestnut oak
reproduction dies after a few years under a closed canopy, but if some
light penetrates to the forest floor, seedling sprouts may persist for
years.  The sprouts will respond to release.  Chestnut oak is excluded
from mesic sites by more rapidly growing species including
yellow-poplar, sugar maple, red maple, black cherry, northern red oak,
black oak, and white oak.  Post oak, scarlet oak, and pitch pine (Pinus
rigida) are better adapted than chestnut oak to some extremely xeric
sites [49].

In the absence of disturbance, red maple and other shade-tolerant
species will succeed old-growth chestnut oak on good sites [43].  On
some poor sites in the Appalachian Mountains, chestnut oak stands are
considered a physiographic climax [49].  Little [39] suggests a mixed
oak forest of black, white, chestnut, and scarlet oaks may represent a
physiographic climax association on upland sites in the New Jersey Pine
Barrens.

In a study of forest composition in North Carolina, chestnut oak showed
good regeneration over a 30-year period on low density rhododendron
(Rhododendron maximum) sites, suggesting chestnut oak will continue to
dominate these forests.  However, it may diminish with time in areas
where high rhododendron density inhibits regeneration [57].

Advance regeneration is released by gypsy moth defoliation of the
overstory canopy.  However, stands defoliated by gypsy moth in
Pennsylvania and Maryland will probably have a smaller oak component in
the future because of competing vegetation and insufficient numbers of
advance regeneration [30].

In forests in the Hudson River Valley in New York, the percent
occurrence of chestnut oak has increased from 2.1 percent in the period
before 1800 to 13.7 percent in 1984.  However, early land surveys may
have underrepresented chestnut oak because it occurs on poor sites and
inaccessible areas.  If it were not underrepresented, frequent logging
may have increased its importance in stands because of the superior
ability of chestnut oak to sprout from stumps [24].

A forest stand growth model was developed and used to compare the pre-
and post-chestnut-blight forest.  After 500 years without American
chestnut, the model showed chestnut oak increased in frequency in the
forests [65].
  • 24.  Glitzenstein, Jeff S.; Canham, Charles D.; McDonnell, Mark J.; Streng,        Donna R. 1990. Effects of environment and land-use history on upland        forests of the Cary Arboretum, Hudson Valley, New York. Bulletin of the        Torrey Botanical Club. 117(2): 106-122.  [13301]
  • 30.  Hix, David M.; Fosbroke, David E.; Hicks, Ray R., Jr.; Gottschalk, Kurt        W. 1991. Development of regeneration following gypsy moth defoliation of        Appalachian Plateau and Ridge & Valley hardwood stands. In: McCormick,        Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central hardwood        forest conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep.        NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 347-359.  [15323]
  • 39.  Martin, S. Clark. 1980. Mesquite. In: Eyre, F. H., ed. Forest cover        types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of        American Foresters: 118.  [9858]
  • 43.  Lorimer, Craig G. 1984. Development of the red maple understory in        northeastern oak forests. Forest Science. 30(1): 3-22.  [12565]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 57.  Phillips, Donald L.; Murdy, William H. 1985. Effects of Rhododendron        (Rhododendron maximum L.) on regeneration of southern Appalachian        hardwoods. Forest Science. 31(1): 226-233.  [19372]
  • 65.  Shugart, H.H., Jr.; West, D.C. 1977. Development of an Appalachian        deciduous forest succession model and its application to assessment of        the impact of the chestnut blight. Journal of Environmental Management.        5: 161-179.  [67]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: competition, frequency, litter, root crown, tree

Sexual:  Seed production begins when the tree is about 20 years old.
Acorn crop sizes vary considerably from year to year with heavy crops
occurring only once every 4 to 5 years [49].  Good crops are dependent
on spring temperature patterns.  Above normal temperatures in early
April followed by subnormal temperatures in early May result in the best
acorn crops.  The early warm temperatures induce the early development
of staminate flowers and increase the development of viable pollen.  The
cool weather delays the pollen dispersal to coincide with pistillate
flower development, and the delay may also enhance ovary development.  A
gradual increase in the temperature from early spring to summer results
in poor crops.  Occasionally, a chestnut oak will produce 100 to 300
pounds (45-136 kg) of acorns, but this is rare.  Often a tree will
produce less than 10 pounds (4.5 kg) [64].  Chestnut oaks generally
produce fewer acorns than other upland oak species [49].

Dissemination is by gravity and squirrels [49], although white oak group
acorns are not dispersed by squirrels to the extent that red oak group
acorns are [66].  Very few (0.5 percent) available chestnut oak acorns
were buried by gray squirrels in a study of acorn preference [36].

Most chestnut oak acorns germinate at day/night temperatures of 65/50
degrees Fahrenheit (18/10 deg C).  Chestnut oak germination is enhanced
by 1 inch (2-3 cm) of leaf litter, but litter deeper than 2 inches (5
cm) is unfavorable.  The germination capacity of sound acorns is 90
percent.  A thick parenchyma layer in the chestnut oak acorn pericup
allows it to absorb and retain more moisture than acorns of other oak
species.  Consequently, they can germinate in dry soil [49].  The
germination of chestnut oak acorns was not greatly affected by treating
the soil with copper, lead, and zinc solutions, although acorns from
sites naturally high in metals had slightly higher survival than acorns
from sites with low background levels of metals [4].

In an oak-pine forest in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, 1-year-old
chestnut oak occurred in areas with deeper litter (an average of 1.4
inches [3.5 cm]) and less light (22 percent of available) than its
upland associate, scarlet oak (Q. coccinea).  Chestnut oak seedlings,
however, are not highly site specific because of the large energy
reserves in the acorns [11].

The roots of chestnut oak seedlings penetrate 5 to 6 inches (12.7-15.2
cm) before the unfolding of primary leaves, which are borne on stems 2
to 3 inches (5-7.6 cm) tall [40].  Seedling growth is slow.  Ten years
after establishment, seedling were 6 inches (15 cm) in a unthinned
forest, 9 inches (24 cm) in a thinned forest, and 58 inches (146 cm) in
a clearcut [49].

Vegetative:  If top-killed, chestnut oaks sprout vigorously from dormant
buds at the root crown.  Sprouts grow faster than seedlings.  Ten years
after clearcutting, some stump sprouts were larger than 21 feet (6.4 m)
tall.  Probably 75 percent of chestnut oak reproduction in the southern
Appalachian Mountains is of sprout origin [49].

Chestnut oak sprouting frequency is high compared to other upland oaks.
In one study in the Virginia Piedmont, the sprouting frequency of
chestnut oak was over 90 percent, regardless of season of harvest or
stump diameter [32].  Although chestnut oak initially produces large
numbers of sprouts, sprout clumps tend towards the survival of one to
three stems.  In one study, 5, 10, 15, 25, and 35 years after cutting,
the average number of sprouts per stump was 7.3, 3.8, 2.8, 2.3, and 1.9,
respectively [48].  Between the ages of 4 and 8, competition is
dominated by interaction between sprout clumps, not stem-to-stem
competition within a sprout clump [12].
  • 4.  Bell, R.; Teramura, A. H. 1991. Soil metal effects on the germination        and survival of Quercus alba L. and Q. prinus L. Environmental and        Experimental Botany. 31(2): 145-152.  [15281]
  • 11.  Collins, Scott L.; Good, Ralph E. 1987. The seedling regeneration niche:        habitat structure of tree seedlings in an oak-pine forest. Oikos. 48:        89-98.  [8637]
  • 12.  Cook, James E. 1990. Degree of competition and integration in one- to        eight-year-old scarlet and chestnut oak sprout clumps. In: Van Sambeek,        J. W.; Larson, M. M., eds. Proceedings, 4th workshop on seedling        physiology and growth problems in oak plantings; 1989 March 1-2;        Columbus, OH. (Abstracts). Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-139. St. Paul, MN: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest        Experiment Station: 29. Abstract.  [13156]
  • 32.  Dieterich, John H. 1983. Fire history of southwestern mixed conifer: a        case study. Forest Ecology. 6: 13-31.  [5242]
  • 36.  Lewis, Allen R. 1982. Selection of nuts by gray squirrels and optimal        foraging theory. American Midland Naturalist. 107: 250-257.  [8391]
  • 40.  Little, S.; Moore, E. B. 1949. The ecological role of prescribed burns        in the pine-oak forests of southern New Jersey. Ecology. 30(2): 223-233.        [11107]
  • 48.  McIntyre, A. C. 1936. Sprout groups and their relation to the oak        forests of Pennsylvania. Journal of Forestry. 34: 1054-1058.  [10086]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 64.  Sharp, Ward M.; Sprague, Vance G. 1967. Flowering and fruiting in the        white oaks, pistillate flowering, acorn development, weather, and        yields. Ecology. 48: 243-251.  [3909]
  • 66.  Smallwood, Peter D.; Peters, W. David. 1986. Grey squirrel food        preferences:  the effects of tannin and fat concentration. Ecology.        67(1): 168-175.  [10519]

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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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Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: basal area, litter

Fire can reduce litter depth so that oak seedlings can become
established [31]. Fire can also reduce stocking rates of other species,
allowing oak species to increase in basal area. Fire can induce
vigorous sprouting from older root stocks, which may be a preferred
reproductive technique [31].
  • 31. Rouse, Cary. 1986. Fire effects in northeastern forests: oak. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-105. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [3884]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: frequency, swamp

Swamp chestnut oak increased in a longleaf pine forest of Gulf Coastal
Florida 50 years following fire [8]. In a 20-year period, percent
frequency of swamp chestnut oak doubled. In a separate study of the
same area during the same year, swamp chestnut oak was found to decrease
in percent frequency over a 20-year period following an absence of fire
for 55 years [13].
  • 8. Feldman, Thomas D. 1987. Fire control and ecological succession in McCarty Woods, Hernando County , Florida. Florida Geographer. 21: 15-19. [8689]
  • 13. Hartnett, David C.; Krofta, Douglas M. 1989. Fifty-five years of post-fire succession in a southern mixed hardwood forest. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(2): 107-113. [9153]

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Plant Response to Fire

Swamp chestnut oak will eventually seed into areas following fire [8].
Stems can sprout after being top-killed. Sprouts can grow as much as 3
to 6 feet (1-3 m) a year for the first 2 to 3 postfire years [32].
  • 8. Feldman, Thomas D. 1987. Fire control and ecological succession in McCarty Woods, Hernando County , Florida. Florida Geographer. 21: 15-19. [8689]
  • 32. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Broad-scale Impacts of Fire

Fire scar wounds left on surviving trees allow the entry of fungi which
can cause heartwood decay [26]. Butt swelling and bulging are
indications of heartrot. Rot usually starts 4 to 5 years after fire.
The scar gets bigger, moving upward along the trunk about 1.5 feet (0.5
m) in 10 years if a quarter of the tree's circumference is damaged [26].
Fire is less damaging during the tree's dormant season because of
lowered ambient temperatures and the tree's physiological state [31].
Crooked trees may be killed more easily than straight trees if crooked
trees are leaning towards the flames. Also, overstocked stands may
suffer more damage from fire due to reduced vigor and size of
individuals [31]. Fire does not appear to affect acorn crops; however,
dying trees tend to produce a massive crop. Acorns themselves are
easily killed because of high moisture content [31].
  • 26. 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]
  • 31. Rouse, Cary. 1986. Fire effects in northeastern forests: oak. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-105. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [3884]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: swamp

Severe fire top-kills swamp chestnut oak [32]. Moderately severe fires
may kill seedlings and saplings, but older trees usually survive.
Surviving, fire-damaged trees are susceptible disease and insect attack.
  • 32. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Post-fire Regeneration

off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; Postfire yr 1&2
survivor species; on-site surviving root crown

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Fire Ecology

More info for the term: tree

All oaks sprout from the stem when top-killed by fire. Sprouting vigor
decreases as the tree increases in size and age [32]. Seedlings can
initially develop an "S"-shaped crook in the shoot at the soil surface.
This protects dormant buds from the heat of flames, allowing them to
sprout following fire [31]. With repeated fires, stems become calloused
and harbor dormant buds within this tissue.
  • 31. Rouse, Cary. 1986. Fire effects in northeastern forests: oak. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-105. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 7 p. [3884]
  • 32. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: hardwood

Swamp chestnut oak is shade tolerant [5]. It is a dominant overstory
species in frequently flooded, low-elevation flatlands of Big Thicket,
Texas [18]. It is an early hardwood invader of southern pine (Pinus
spp.) stands where fire has been excluded [13].
  • 5. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 13. Hartnett, David C.; Krofta, Douglas M. 1989. Fifty-five years of post-fire succession in a southern mixed hardwood forest. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 116(2): 107-113. [9153]
  • 18. Marks, P. L.; Harcombe, P. A. 1981. Forest vegetation of the Big Thicket, southeast Texas. Ecological Monographs. 51(3): 287-305. [9672]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: swamp

Sexual: Swamp chestnut oak reproduces by seed, which mature in 1 year
[30]. Good seed crops are produced about every 4 to 7 years, but many
acorns are infected by insects. Seedlings grow slowly at less than 6
inches (15 cm) per year [32]. Acorns must be collected soon after
falling to avoid early germination [22]. Viability can be tested by
dumping acorns in water. Those that float are not viable. Storing
seeds for more than a few months is not recommended because seeds do not
keep well. Cleaned seeds average 85 per pound (76.5/kg). One hundred
pounds (90 kg) of fruit can yield 40 to 50 pounds (36-45 kg) of seed
[22]. Detailed techniques for planting swamp white oak acorns and
seedlings are available [1].

Vegetative: Swamp chestnut oak sprouts from its base [32].
  • 1. Allen, James A.; Kennedy, Harvey E., Jr. 1989. Bottomland hardwood reforestation in the lower Mississippi Valley. Slidell, LA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Research Center; Stoneville, MS: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experimental Station. 28 p. [15293]
  • 22. 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]
  • 30. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p. [1913]
  • 32. Sander, Ivan L.; Rosen, Howard N. 1985. Oak: An American wood. FS-247. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 11 p. [18167]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte: Mesophanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Reaction to Competition

Swamp chestnut oak is classed as  intolerant of shade and requires openings for establishment. It  normally receives heavy competition from vines, annuals, and  brush that are common to most bottom-land hardwood sites. It is  reported that when mature, however, this species retards the  growth of understory vegetation, probably due to an allelopathic  effect (5).

  • 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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Rooting Habit

No information is currently available.

  • 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.

More info for the term: phenology

Flowers develop in the spring at the same time as leaf development [49].
In a 3-year study of chestnut oak phenology in Pennsylvania, staminate
flowers, borne on ephemeral catkins, usually emerged during the first
week in May, and leaves unfolded several day later.  Pistillate flowers
appeared in the axils of leaves on the current year's shoots, usually 5
to 10 days after the staminate flowers emerged [63,64].

Pollen dispersal, largely controlled by weather, usually occurs 10 to 20
days after the staminate flowers emerge [49].  Cool weather delays
pollen dispersal [64].

Acorns mature in one growing season and drop from early September to
early October, usually 2 to 5 weeks before the acorns of other upland
oaks drop.  Acorns exhibit no dormancy and germinate in the fall.  If
the temperature is below 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 deg C), shoot
development is inhibited by an induced epicotyl dormancy, but root
development continues.  Normal shoot development resumes in the spring
[49].
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 63.  Sharp, Ward M.; Chisman, Henry H. 1961. Flowering and fruiting in the        white oaks. I. Staminate flowering through  pollen dispersal. Ecology.        42: 365-372.  [3910]
  • 64.  Sharp, Ward M.; Sprague, Vance G. 1967. Flowering and fruiting in the        white oaks, pistillate flowering, acorn development, weather, and        yields. Ecology. 48: 243-251.  [3909]

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Phenology

More info on this topic.

Swamp chestnut oak flowers from April through May [5]. Acorns ripen in
late summer through the fall; seed crops are produced at about 3- to
5-year intervals [22]. Acorns are disseminated in September and October
[1].
  • 5. Duncan, Wilbur H.; Duncan, Marion B. 1988. Trees of the southeastern United States. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 322 p. [12764]
  • 1. Allen, James A.; Kennedy, Harvey E., Jr. 1989. Bottomland hardwood reforestation in the lower Mississippi Valley. Slidell, LA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Research Center; Stoneville, MS: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experimental Station. 28 p. [15293]
  • 22. 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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Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering early-late spring.
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Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Swamp chestnut oak sprouts,  though not prolifically, from roots and stumps.

  • 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

Animal activity greatly inhibits  regeneration of swamp chestnut oak from seed. Germination, which  is hypogeal, usually starts soon after seedfall, with little or  no period of dormancy. A moist, well-drained loam, covered with a  light litter layer, provides an excellent seedbed. First-year  height growth is related to soil type and drainage. Second-year  growth is only related to soil type. This suggests that the   species is site sensitive (4).

    The stem of the 1-year-old seedling is generally smooth but is  covered near the terminal bud with hairs. At first it is reddish  brown but becomes gray after the first year, especially at the  base. Small, round, inconspicuous lenticels are found on the  upper stem. The terminal bud is about 6 mm (0.25 in) long and  light brown. The lateral buds are of the same color but are only  about 3 mm (0.125 in) long. A cluster of lateral buds around the  terminal bud is common.

  • 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

Trees begin to produce  seed at about age 20 to 25 and attain their optimum production  around age 40. Good seed crops can be expected every 3 to 5 years  with poor to fair production the balance of the time. There are  about 187 cleaned seeds per kilogram (85/lb), with a range of 77  to 430 (35 to 195) (7). The acorn is very palatable and is eaten  by white-tailed deer, wild hogs, and squirrels. Squirrels are   perhaps the most helpful animals in disseminating the acorns  because they hoard far more than they can actually eat.

  • 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

Flowers of swamp chestnut oak  appear about the same time as the leaves, from April to May.  Swamp chestnut oak is monoecious. The fruit or acorn is nearly  sessile and may be solitary or paired. Its cup is broad based and  covers about one-third of the acorn. Scales on the cup are free  to the base and are pubescent. Its dimensions are 1.9 to 3.2 cm  (0.75 to 1.25 in) wide by 2.5 to 3.8 cm (1 to 1.5 in) long. The   acorns ripen and fall during September and October.

  • 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

Swamp chestnut oak is a medium-size tree  and may attain a height of 30.5 in (100 ft) at maturity on better  sites. Heights of 18 to 24 m (60 to 80 ft) with trunk diameters  of 61 to 91 cm (24 to 36 in) are normal for average sites. The  trunk is often free of branches for 15 to 18 m (50 to 60 ft).  Stout branches ascend at sharp angles to form a very strong  crown. Volume of growing stock on commercial forest land in north  Georgia for all diameter classes was 5.97 million m³ (211  million ft³. It has also been reported that where swamp  chestnut grows with other hardwoods, a total volume in excess of  112 m³/ha (8,000 fbm/acre) is classed as a heavy sawtimber  stand. A heavy pole stand is considered to have more than 432  stems/ha (175 stems/acre) ranging from 13 to 28 cm (5 to 21 in)  in diameter at breast height.

  • 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

Swamp chestnut oak hybridizes with Quercus alba (Q. x beadlei  Trel. ex Palmer); Q. lyrata (Q. x tottenii Melvin);  and Q. macrocarpa (Q. x byarsii Sudw.) (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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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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Chestnut oak is listed as endangered in Maine's Official List of
Endangered and Threatened Plants [15].
  • 15.  Dibble, Alison C.; Campbell, Christopher S.; Tyler, Harry R., Jr.;        Vickery, Barbara St. J. 1989. Maine's official list of endangered and        threatened plants. Rhodora. 91(867): 244-269.  [4258]

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Threats

Pests and potential problems

Swamp chestnut oak is affected by wood decaying fungi species of Fomes, Polyporus, and Stereum, and sporadically by oak leaf blister (Taphrina caerulescens). Acorns are attacked by weevils; insect defoliators like June beetles, orange striped oakworm, fall cankerworm, spring cankerworm, forest tent caterpillar, yellownecked caterpillar, oakleaf caterpillar, and the redhumped oakworm. Borers that attack the species include red oak borer, carpenter worms, Columbian timber beetle, two-lined chestnut borer, tilehorned prionus, oak timberworm. Other pests are golden oak scale, gouty oak gall, horned oak gall, and basswood leafminer.

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: density, frequency, hardwood, mesic, top-kill, tree

To regenerate upland oaks successfully, advance regeneration must be 4
to 5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) tall before the overstory is removed.  Successful
regeneration of a mixed oak forest can only be accomplished after
clearcutting if there are adequate numbers of older advance regeneration
[62].  Sanders [61] recommended that there be at least 433
well-distributed oak sprouts and saplings per acre (1,070/ha).
Otherwise, a shelterwood silviculture system is needed to give oak
regeneration time and partial light to grow.  For best results, the
shelterwood cut should leave a 60 to 70 percent stocking density.  All
nonoak stems in the understory larger than 4 to 6 feet (1.2-1.8 m) tall
should be killed [62].

Forest managers have noticed a decrease in upland oak frequency in newly
regenerated stands after clearcutting, especially on good sites.  The
reason for the decrease is the inability of oak seedlings and sprouts to
compete successfully with species that have invaded the oak forest
understory in the absence of disturbance [62].  In West Virginia, 59
stands with a history of grazing, thinning, or light fire in the past
two decades had more oak regeneration than undisturbed stands [10].

The season of clearcutting appears to have an effect on the regeneration
of upland oak stands.  On lower quality sites in south-central Ohio,
upland oaks (chestnut, scarlet, black, and white) were more favored over
mixed hardwoods after summer clearcutting than after winter
clearcutting.  The season of harvest (dormant season versus growing
season) did not affect regeneration on good sites [76].

Site quality affects the ability of upland oaks to regenerate.  In the
abovementioned study in south-central Ohio, medium-quality sites had
higher absolute and relative oak densities 18 to 20 years after
clearcutting than did good sites.  The oaks showed good early
establishment on both medium and good sites but were unable to compete
with the faster growing mesic hardwoods on good sites [76].  The seed
tree silviculture method was used on fair and good sites in an
Appalachian hardwood forest which contained chestnut oak.  Twelve years
after the seed-tree harvest cut and 9 years after seed trees were cut,
chestnut oak regeneration was abundant only on the fair site [68].

Thinning may or may not improve the growth of established chestnut oak
stands.  Five years after thinning a sawtimber-sized stand, the 75- to
80-year-old chestnut oaks had not responded to the release [67].  Thinning
upland oak stands to retain the best acorn producers for wildlife
habitat enhancement did not improve acorn yields enough to justify the
efforts [16].  Information on thinning, stocking, growth, and yields of
upland oaks is detailed [23].

Planting chestnut oak seedlings in old fields in the southern
Appalachian Mountains is generally unsuccessful unless the competition
is controlled for more than 3 years [18].  Information on storage,
seeding, and planting techniques for upland oaks is detailed [60].

In 26 chestnut oak stands in Pennsylvania and Maryland, advance
regeneration responded to the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) defoliation
of the canopy by increasing in height.  However, there was a large
influx of competing vegetation, and the oak component of future stands
will probably be reduced [30].

Chestnut oak is one of the two most preferred host species of the
introduced gypsy moth, which defoliates trees [49].  Crow and Hicks [14]
developed hazard rating equations from site and stand characteristics
associated with chestnut oak mortality caused by insect defoliation.
The discriminant function equations correctly classified as dead or
alive 59 percent of the chestnut oaks in a study area in West Virginia.
The equations use the following variables:  d.b.h., height, site index,
percent slope, aspect, host preference of insect, shade tolerance, and
the number of years of defoliation [14].

Other insects which defoliate chestnut oak include spring and fall
cankerworms (Paleacrita vernata and Alsophila pometaria), the forest
tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria), the half-wing geometer (Phigalia
titea) [49], oak leafrollers (Archips spp.) [59], and the linden looper
(Erannis tilaria) [49].  Chestnut oak is susceptible to wood-boring
beetles, including the Columbian timber beetle (Corthylus columbianus),
Platypus spp., and Xyleborus spp.  Other wood borers that attack
chestnut oak include the oak timberworm (Arrhenodes minutus), the
carpenterworm (Prionoxystus robiniae), the little carpenterworm (P.
macmurtrei) [49], and the two-lined chestnut borer (Agrilus bilineatus)
[51].

Chestnut oak is susceptible to many oak diseases including oak wilt
(Ceratocystis fagacearum), twig-blight fungus (Diplodia longispora), and
stem cankers caused by Nectria galligena, Strumella coryneoidea, and
Botryodiplodia spp.  Important decay-causing fungi include Spongipellis
pachyodon, Stereum gausapatum, Armillaria mellea, Fistulina hepatica,
Wolfiporia cocos, Inonotus dryophilus, Xylobolus frustulatus, and
Perenniporia compacta.  Decay is common in stump sprouts, although the
incidence is lower for those that originate near the ground [49].

Chestnut oak is also susceptible to, but rarely killed by, several gall
wasps (Cynipidae), a pit scale (Asterolecanium quercicola), and the
golden oak scale (A. variolosum).  Acorns are destroyed by nut weevils
(Curculio spp. and Conotrachelus spp.), the moth Valentinia glandulella,
and cynipid gall wasps [49].

Chestnut oaks that are stressed from drought, gypsy moth defoliation,
spring frost defoliation, old age, fire, poor site conditions, or other
factors often succumb to secondary agents such as the two-lined chestnut
borer.  This scenario, in which a primary agent stresses the tree and a
secondary agent kills it, is known as "oak decline" and is responsible
for considerable chestnut oak mortality [51].

Herbicides have been used to control chestnut oak on sites where pine
regeneration is desired.  In order to convert a North Carolina
Appalachian site to white pine (Pinus strobus), picloram was applied in
May as 10 percent acid equivalent pellets at the rate of 4.5 pounds acid
equivalent per acre (5.0 kg ae/ha).  One year later, 29 percent of the
chestnut oaks showed complete crown kill or defoliation; 67 percent
showed leaf curling, crown biomass reduction, and/or chlorosis; and 4
percent exhibited no effect from the herbicide treatment [53].

Roundup (glyphosate) was used to control chestnut oak on a white pine
plantation in West Virginia.  Three subsequent mistblower applications
in August and September on small chestnut oak sprouts were 100 percent
effective after two growing seasons.  In the fall, saplings larger than
1 inch (2.5 cm) in d.b.h. were injected with 0.05 fluid ounce (1.5 ml)
of 20 and 50 percent solutions a few inches above the groundline in
1.5-inch (3.8 cm) spacings.  Two growing seasons after the injections,
100 percent of the chestnut oak saplings were dead and did not have
sprouts [78].

In Georgia, three herbicides were tested on chestnut oak.  Each tree
received one incision for every 3 inches (7.6 cm) in d.b.h., and each
incision was injected with 0.06 ounces (2 ml) of herbicide.  One year
after injection, chestnut oak injected with Arsenal at two different
concentrations (1 and 2 lbs AC 252,925 per gallon) had 100 percent
top-kill and no sprouting.  Garlon 3A (1.5 pounds triclopyr per gallon)
resulted in 40 percent top-kill.  Chestnut oak injected with
3,6-dichloropicolinic acid at two concentrations (1.5 and 3 pounds
XRM-3972 per gallon) resulted in 0 percent and 20 percent top-kill,
respectively [50].

Dead, standing chestnut oak killed by fire had the fastest decomposition
rate (11 percent per year) of ten species studied in the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park [28].
  • 10.  Carvell, K. L.; Tryon, E. H. 1961. The effect of environmental factors        on the abundance of oak regeneration beneath mature oak stands. Forestry        Science. 7: 98-105.  [10115]
  • 14.  Crow, Gerald R.; Hicks, Ray R., Jr. 1990. Predicting mortality in mixed        oak stands following spring insect defoliation. Forest Science. 36(3):        831-841.  [13019]
  • 16.  Drake, William E. 1991. Evaluation of an approach to improve acorn        production during thinning. In: McCormick, Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt        W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central hardwood forest conference; 1991 March        4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest        Experiment Station: 429-441.  [15328]
  • 18.  Farmer, R. E., Jr. 1981. Early growth of black cherry, oaks, and        yellow-poplar in southern Appalachian plantings. Tree Planters' Notes.        32(3): 12-14.  [12504]
  • 23.  Gingrich, Samuel F. 1971. Stocking, growth, and yield of oak stands. In:        Oak symposium: Proceedings; 1971 August 16-20; Morgantown, WV. Upper        Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern        Forest Experiment Station: 65-73.  [9085]
  • 28.  Harmon, Mark E. 1982. Decomposition of standing dead trees in the        southern Appalachian Mountains. Oecologia. 52: 214-215.  [13735]
  • 30.  Hix, David M.; Fosbroke, David E.; Hicks, Ray R., Jr.; Gottschalk, Kurt        W. 1991. Development of regeneration following gypsy moth defoliation of        Appalachian Plateau and Ridge & Valley hardwood stands. In: McCormick,        Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central hardwood        forest conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen. Tech. Rep.        NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 347-359.  [15323]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 50.  Michael, J. L. 1985. Hardwood control by injection with two new        chemicals. Proceedings of the Southern Weed Science Society. 38:        164-167.  [12687]
  • 51.  Millers, Imants; Shriner, David S.; Rizzo, David. 1989. History of        hardwood decline in the eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-126.        Bromall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 75 p.  [10925]
  • 53.  Neary, D. G.; Douglass, J. E.; Ruehle, J. L.; Fox, W. 1984. Converting        rhododendron-laurel thickets to white pine with picloram and        mycorrhizae-inoculated seedlings. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry.        8(3): 163-168.  [10697]
  • 59.  Rexrode, Charles O. 1971. Insect damage to oaks. In: Oak symposium:        Proceedings; 1971 August 16-20; Morgantown, WV. Upper Darby, PA: U.S.        Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest        Experiment Station: 129-134.  [9089]
  • 60.  Russell, T. E. 1971. Seeding and planting upland oaks. In: Oak        symposium: Proceedings; 1971 August 16-20; Morgantown, WV. Upper Darby,        PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest        Experiment Station: 49-54.  [9082]
  • 61.  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]
  • 62.  Sander, Ivan L. 1988. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian oak        stands. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.; Kidd, William E., Jr.,        eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian hardwood stands: Workshop        proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV. SAF Publ. 88-03.        Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 189-198.  [13945]
  • 67.  Smith, H. Clay; Miller, Gary W. 1991. Releasing 75- to 80-year-old        Appalachian hardwood sawtimber trees: 5-year d.b.h. response. In:        McCormick, Larry H.; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. Proceedings, 8th central        hardwood forest conference; 1991 March 4-6; University Park, PA. Gen.        Tech. Rep. NE-148. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station: 402-413.  [15327]
  • 68.  Smith, H. Clay; Rosier, Robert L.; Hammack, K. P.. 1976. Reproduction 12        years after seed-tree harvest cutting in Appalachian hardwoods. Res.        Pap. NE-350. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 11 p.  [10887]
  • 76.  Ward, Jeffery S.; Heiligmann, Randall B. 1990. Effects of site quality        and season of clearcutting on hardwood regeneration in Ohio. Northern        Journal of Applied Forestry. 7: 69-72.  [11879]
  • 78.  Wendel, G. W.; Kochenderfer, J. N. 1982. Glyphosate controls hardwoods        in West Virginia. Res. Pap. NE-497. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 7        p.  [9869]

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Management considerations

More info for the terms: cover, hardwood, mast, swamp, tree

Although swamp chestnut oak is not endangered, much of its southern
forested wetlands habitat is being converted to agricultural land and
subdivisions [6]. Some remaining areas are in need of rejuvenation.
Clearcutting is considered the most effective way to regenerate and
rejuvenate bottomland hardwood sites [11,29]. But because of the wide
variety of site conditions in these types, proper clearcutting
techniques differ from site to site. Following clearcutting, natural
regeneration is recommended [29]. All residual stems should be removed
after commercial harvests, either by girdling, shearing, chopping, or
applying herbicides.

Management techniques for enhancing bottomland hardwood forests near
waterfowl wintering habitat include filling reservoir pools during early
fall, with drawdown beginning in mid-February [20]. Small clearcuts can
be used to release other trees, promoting growth for cover and mast for
food.

Seven years after a clearcut in a bottomland forest of Alabama, the
number of swamp chestnut oaks stems per acre doubled compared to the
preharvest stand [11].

Weevils (Curculio spp.) can infect oak acorns during light crop years
[22]. Oak species are also susceptible to a variety of insect pests,
fungi, cankers, and wilts. Refer to Solomon and others [33] for details
on how to recognize and control these diseases and pests. Oaks also
experience what is called "oak decline;" this is when a tree dies or
suffers from dieback of limbs due to environmental stresses [34].
  • 6. Ernst, John P.; Brown, Valerie. 1989. Conserving endangered species on southern forested wetlands. In: Hook, Donal D.; Lea, Russ, eds. The forested wetlands of the southern United States: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 July 12-14; Orlando, FL. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-50. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 135-145. [9232]
  • 11. Golden, Michael S.; Loewenstein, Edward F. 1991. Regeneration of tree species 7 years after clearcutting in a river bottom in central Alabama. In: Coleman, Sandra S.; Neary, Daniel G., compilers. Proceedings, 6th biennial southern silvicultural research conference: Volume I; 1990 October 30 - November 1; Memphis, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-70. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 76-83. [17464]
  • 20. Moorhead, David J.; Hodges, John D.; Reinecke, Kenneth J. 1991. Silvicultural options for waterfowl management in bottomland hardwood stands and greentree reservoirs. In: Coleman, Sandra S.; Neary, Daniel G., compilers. Proceedings, 6th biennial southern silvicultural research conference: Volume 2; 1990 October 30 - November 1; Memphis, TN. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-70. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 710-721. [17507]
  • 22. 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]
  • 29. Williams, Thomas M. 1989. Site preparation on forested wetlands of the southeastern Coastal Plain. In: Hook, Donal D.; Lea, Russ, eds. Proceedings of the symposium: The forested wetlands of the Southern United States; 1988 July 12-14; Orlando, FL. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-50. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 67-71. [9230]
  • 33. Solomon, J. D.; McCracken, F. I.; Anderson, R. L.; [and others]
  • 34. Wargo, Philip M.; Houston, David R.; LaMadeleine, Leon A. 1983. Oak decline. Forest Insect and Disease Leaflet 165. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 8 p. [18166]

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Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

Seeds and seedlings are commercially available from forest seed companies.

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USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Swamp chestnut oak is shade intolerant and requires openings for establishment. It normally receives heavy competition from vines, annuals, and brush that are common to most bottomland hardwood sites. When mature, they retard the growth of understory vegetation because they are allelopathic, that is, they exude plant growth inhibitors.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the term: competition

In the past, chestnut oak performed well on mine spoils in Ohio [37] and
on cast overburden in Illinois and Indiana [73].  However, more recent
plantings of chestnut oak on mine spoils have not been as successful.
Reclamation practices mandated by federal law are often unfavorable for
oak establishment.  Top-soiling practices, excess soil compaction caused
by grading, and competition from seeded herbaceous covers reduce the
growth and survival of planted oak species [73].  Chestnut oak did not
show good height growth or survival and is not recommended for planting
on graded, top-soiled mine spoils in southern Illinois [2].
  • 2.  Ashby, W. Clark. 1990. Growth of oaks on topsoiled mined lands. In: Van        Sambeek, J. W.; Larson, M. M., eds. Proceedings, 4th workshop on        seedling physiology and growth problems in oak plantings; 1989 March        1-2; Columbus, OH. (Abstracts). Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-139. St. Paul, MN:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest        Experiment Station: 20. Abstract.  [13147]
  • 37.  Limstrom, G. A.; Merz, R. W. 1949. Rehabilitation of lands stripped for        coal in Ohio. Tech. Pap. No. 113. Columbus, OH: The Ohio Reclamation        Association. 41 p. In cooperation with: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Central States Forest Experiment Station.  [4427]
  • 73.  Vogel, Willis G. 1990. Results of planting oaks on coal surface-mined        lands. In: Van Sambeek, J. W.; Larson, M. M., eds. Proceedings, 4th        workshop on seedling physiology and growth problems in oak plantings;        1989 March 1-2; Columbus, OH. (Abstracts). Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-139. St.        Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central        Forest Experiment Station: 19. Abstract.  [13146]

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Cover Value

More info for the terms: cover, swamp

The southeastern forested wetlands ecosystem, of which swamp chestnut
oak is a part, borders streams and swamps. Overhanging vegetation
provides cover and shade for fish [14]. Swamp chestnut oak also
provides cover for birds, mammals, and reptiles, some of which are
endangered species in the southern wetland ecosystems [14].
  • 14. Ernst, John P.; Brown, Valerie. 1989. Conserving endangered species on southern forested wetlands. In: Hook, Donal D.; Lea, Russ, eds. The forested wetlands of the southern United States: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 July 12-14; Orlando, FL. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-50. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 135-145. [9232]

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Wood Products Value

More info for the terms: hardwood, swamp

Oak species account for one-third of the hardwood sawtimber volume in
the United States [33]. Swamp chestnut oak is a heavy, hard wood that
machines well but is subject to checking and warping if not dried
properly. It is used for flooring, furniture, boxes, crates, barrels,
kegs, ships and boats [25].
  • 33. Solomon, J. D.; McCracken, F. I.; Anderson, R. L.; [and others]
  • 25. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1956. Wood...colors and kinds. Agric. Handb. 101. Washington, DC. 36 p. [16294]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Swamp chestnut oak has been used in restoring degraded bottomland
hardwood forests of the Southeast [21].
  • 21. Newling, Charles J. 1990. Restoration of bottomland hardwood forests in the lower Mississippi Valley. Restoration & Management Notes. 8(1): 23-28. [14611]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Swamp chestnut oak acorns are an important food for a variety of birds
and mammals, including white-tailed deer, black bear, red fox, wild
turkey, northern bobwhite, waterfowl, and squirrels [1,24]. Acorns are
also used as fodder for livestock, including chickens [2]. Tannins in
the acorns can poison livestock at high concentrations.
  • 1. Allen, James A.; Kennedy, Harvey E., Jr. 1989. Bottomland hardwood reforestation in the lower Mississippi Valley. Slidell, LA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Research Center; Stoneville, MS: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experimental Station. 28 p. [15293]
  • 2. Bainbridge, David A. 1987. The use of acorns for food in California: past, present, future. In: Plumb, Timothy R.; Pillsbury, Norman H., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on multiple-use management of California's hardwood resources; 1986 November 12-14; San Luis Obispo, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-100. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 453-458. [5395]
  • 24. Reid, Vincent H.; Goodrum, Phil D. 1957. The effect of hardwood removal on wildlife. In: Proceedings of the Society of American Foresters meeting; 1957 November 10-13; Syracuse, NY. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters: 141-147. [10477]

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Other uses and values

Chestnut oak shows a 7 to 10 day delay in budbreak and leaf flush on
sites that have heavy metal (copper, zinc, and lead) enrichment of the
soil.  This retarded leaf flush may be used in geobotanical
remote-sensing techniques for mineral detection [3].
  • 3.  Bell, R.; Labovitz, M. L.; Sullivan, D. P. 1985. Delay in leaf flush        associated with a heavy metal-enriched soil. Economic Geology. 80:        1407-1414.  [11014]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Good crops of chestnut oak acorns are infrequent, but when available the
acorns are eaten by numerous upland wildlife species, including
white-tailed deer, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and wild turkeys [49].
White-tailed deer occasionally browse young oak sprouts, especially the
first year after cutting or burning.  The deer only take the top few
inches of the sprout unless it is extremely succulent or other food is
scarce [41].

Small birds and mammals, as well as insects such as bees, use chestnut
oak cavities for nesting.  In a survey of 31 oak-hickory (Carya spp.)
stands in the Appalachian Mountains, a disproportionate share of
cavities were in chestnut oak [9].
  • 41.  Little, Silas; Moorhead, George R.; Somes, Horace A. 1958. Forestry and        deer in the Pine Region of New Jersey. Station Pap. No. 109. Upper        Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern        Forest Experiment Station. 33 p.  [11681]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 9.  Carey, Andrew B. 1983. Cavities in trees in hardwood forests. In: Davis,        Jerry W.; Goodwin, Gregory A.; Ockenfeis, Richard A., technical        coordinators. Snag Habitat management: proceedings of the symposium;        1983 June 7-9; Flagstaff, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-99. Fort Collins, CO:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest        and Range Experiment Station: 167-184.  [17833]

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Nutritional Value

Chestnut oak acorns are, on average by dry weight, 5.76 percent crude
protein, 10.07 percent crude fat, and 78.9 percent carbohydrates [66].
The acorns are 0.09 percent (dry weight) magnesium and 0.15 percent
phosphorus, and contain only a trace of calcium [75].  The average crude
energy yield of chestnut oak acorns is 21.8 kJ/kernel, and the average
metabolizable energy yield is 15.7 kJ/kernel [36].
  • 36.  Lewis, Allen R. 1982. Selection of nuts by gray squirrels and optimal        foraging theory. American Midland Naturalist. 107: 250-257.  [8391]
  • 66.  Smallwood, Peter D.; Peters, W. David. 1986. Grey squirrel food        preferences:  the effects of tannin and fat concentration. Ecology.        67(1): 168-175.  [10519]
  • 75.  Wainio, Walter W.; Forbes, E. B. 1941. The chemical composition of        forest fruits and nuts from Pennsylvania. Journal of Agricultural        Research. 62(10): 627-635.  [5401]

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Palatability

Chestnut oak acorns are considered sweet [49].  Gray squirrels selected
pignut hickory (Carya glabra) nuts and northern red oak acorns over
chestnut oak acorns but preferred chestnut oak acorns to those of white
oak [36].

White-tailed deer prefer chestnut oak sprouts to seedlings [52].
Chestnut oak sprouts are more palatable than those of bear oak (Q.
ilicifolia) [41].
  • 36.  Lewis, Allen R. 1982. Selection of nuts by gray squirrels and optimal        foraging theory. American Midland Naturalist. 107: 250-257.  [8391]
  • 41.  Little, Silas; Moorhead, George R.; Somes, Horace A. 1958. Forestry and        deer in the Pine Region of New Jersey. Station Pap. No. 109. Upper        Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern        Forest Experiment Station. 33 p.  [11681]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 52.  Moore, William H.; Johnson, Frank M. 1967. Nature of deer browsing on        hardwood seedlings and sprouts. Journal of Wildlife Management. 31(2):        351-353.  [16394]

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Nutritional Value

Acorns are low in protein but high in fat and nitrogen-free extract.
Percent nutrient values are given below.

Source [4]: Source [24]:

crude fat 3.3 crude fat 1.8
total protein 4.1 total protein 3.1
carbohydrates 56.1 N-free extract 58.9
phosphorus 0.12 crude fiber 12.9
calcium 0.08 water content 21.3
magnesium 0.06
  • 4. 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]
  • 24. Reid, Vincent H.; Goodrum, Phil D. 1957. The effect of hardwood removal on wildlife. In: Proceedings of the Society of American Foresters meeting; 1957 November 10-13; Syracuse, NY. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters: 141-147. [10477]

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Wood Products Value

Chestnut oak wood is cut and utilized as white oak lumber [49].
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]

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Special Uses

Wood from swamp chestnut oak is commercially useful for lumber in  all kinds of construction, for agricultural implements,  cooperage, fenceposts, baskets, and fuel.

    Acorns from swamp chestnut oak serve as mast for various species  of birds and mammals.

  • 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)

M. B. Edwards

Source: Silvics of North America

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Uses

Wildlife: Swamp chestnut oak acorns are eaten by white-tailed deer, wild hogs, wild turkey, black bear, squirrels, and chipmunks. The acorns are also eaten by cows.

Timber: The wood is used in many kinds of construction; for agricultural implements, wheels, veneer, boards, fence posts, tight cooperage, baskets and fuel.

Public Domain

USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Wikipedia

Quercus michauxii

Quercus michauxii, the swamp chestnut oak, is a species of oak in the white oak section Quercus section Quercus, native to bottomlands and wetlands in the southern and central United States, from New Jersey south to northern Florida, and west to Missouri and eastern Texas; it is rare north of the Ohio River.

Classification and nomenclature[edit]

The swamp chestnut oak closely resembles the chestnut oak Quercus prinus, and for that reason has sometimes been treated as a variety of that species. However, the swamp chestnut oak is a larger tree which differs in preferred habitat, and the bark does not have the distinctive deep, rugged ridging of the chestnut oak, being thinner, scaly, and paler gray. It typically grows to around 65 ft (20 m) tall, though the tallest specimen currently known is over 42m tall.

The name Q. prinus was long used by many botanists and foresters for the swamp chestnut oak, even when treated as a species distinct from the chestnut oak, which was then called Q. montana, but the application of the name Q. prinus to the chestnut oak is now often accepted,[1] 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[2]

Description[edit]

The leaves of the swamp chestnut oak are simple, 4-11 in (10-28 cm) long and 2-7 in (5-18 cm) broad, with 15-20 lobe-like, rounded simple teeth on each side, similar to those of chestnut oak and chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii), although they generally do not achieve the more slender form that the leaves of those trees may exhibit at times. The fruit is an acorn 1-1½ in (2.5-3.5 cm) long and ¾-1 in (2-2.5) cm broad, borne on a ¾-1¼ nin (2-3 cm) peduncle, maturing in the fall, about 6 months after pollination.[citation needed]

Ecology[edit]

Uses[edit]

The wood of the swamp chestnut oak is similar to, and usually marketed mixed with, other white oaks.[citation needed] The swamp chestnut oak's bark can be sliced into flexible strips suitable for basket weaving,[citation needed] and for this reason the species is sometimes called the "basket oak".[3]

The swamp chestnut oak's acorns are large and relatively sweet.[4] They are readily eaten by livestock,[citation needed][5] and the species is sometimes called the "cow oak" for this reason. However, swampchestnut oaks bear heavy crops of acorns only at intervals of several years.[citation needed]

The swamp chestnut oak is sometimes cultivated as a large garden tree or street tree, and is quite easy to grow if it is not subject to extreme urban conditions.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "Quercus montana". Flora of North America. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Kirkman, Brown, Leopold (2007). Native Trees of the Southeast. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 182-183. 
  4. ^ Kirkman, Brown, Leopold (2007). Native Trees of the Southeast. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 182-183. 
  5. ^ Kirkman, Brown, Leopold (2007). Native Trees of the Southeast. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 182-183. 

Other references[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Quercus michauxii is easily distinguished from other chestnut-leaved oaks by the felty hairs of the abaxial leaf surface and rather large acorn cups with attenuate-acute, loose scales. This species is no longer extant in Oklahoma. Historical reports from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York have not been confirmed; possibly populations are no longer extant. (See Quercus montana for a discussion of nomenclature and the uncertain application of the name Q . prinus ).
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Called Quercus prinus in some old floras. The name Q. prinus was formerly considered ambiguous, but now usually considered to apply to the plant otherwise known as Q. montana. (LEM 6Dec93)

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The currently accepted scientific name of chestnut oak is Quercus prinus
L. [38,49]. It has been placed within the subgenus Lepidobalanus, or
white oak group [28]. In the past, Quercus prinus was applied to swamp
chestnut oak (Q. michauxii) and Q. montana was applied to chestnut oak.
Quercus prinus was restored to chestnut oak by Fernald in 1950 [21,38].

Chestnut oak naturally hybridizes with the following species [38]:

x Q. alba (white oak): Q. X saulii Schneid.
x Q. bicolor (swamp white oak)
x Q. robur (English oak): Q. X sargentii Rehd.
x Q. stellata (post oak): Q. X bernardiensis W. Wolf
  • 38.  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]
  • 28.  Harmon, Mark E. 1982. Decomposition of standing dead trees in the        southern Appalachian Mountains. Oecologia. 52: 214-215.  [13735]
  • 49.  McQuilkin, Robert A. 1990. Quercus prinus L.  chestnut oak. In: Burns,        Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America.        Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service: 726 p.  [19551]
  • 21.  Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]

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More info for the term: swamp

The currently accepted scientific name for swamp chestnut oak is Quercus
michauxii Nutt. (Fagaceae) [9]. There are no recognized subspecies,
varieties, or forms. There seems to be some confusion about the use of
Q. prinus for chestnut oak, as it is also a synonym for swamp chestnut
oak [12].

Swamp chestnut oak hybridizes with white oak (Q. alba) to form Beadle
oak (Q. x beadlei Trelease ex Palmer) [12]. For more information on
swamp chestnut oak hybrids see Little [35].
  • 9. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]
  • 35. 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]
  • 12. Hardin, James W. 1975. Hybridization and introgression in Quercus alba. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 56: 336-363. [10553]

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Common Names

swamp chestnut oak
basket oak
cow oak

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Common Names

chestnut oak
rock chestnut oak
rock oak
tanbark oak

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Synonyms

Quercus montana Willd.

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Synonyms

Qercus prinus L.

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