20 Pin Oak
Image of the Tree You are Viewing

20 QR Pin Oak 5-17-24
Basic Information about this tree
  • Scientific Name: Quercus ellipsoidalis

  • Common Names: Northern Pin Oak (leaves have pins at ends of lobes)

  • Native

  • Deciduous

  • Condition and age guess of the tree you are viewing:

  • Bark description: Bark on the trunk of mature trees is shallowly ridged and becomes smooth gray with few isolated ridges stretching along the length of upper branches as on saplings. 

  • Leaf Description: leaves have pins at the end of every point. Leaves are deeply lobed, relatively thin, glossy on the top, and hairless. The fall foliage is orange, or bronze to red.

  • Branch Structure:  Like the leaves, buds and twigs are hairless and buds sharp. Pin oak is one of the faster-growing red oaks. The crown is pyramidal when young and becomes more rounded and oval with age. The branching pattern is unique with the lowermost branches being angled sharply downward, the middle branches horizontal, and the upper branches ascending. Young trees and lower branches of older trees hold leaves throughout winter.

  • Typical height and width at maturity:  50 to 70 feet with a trunk about 3 feet in diameter.

  • Typical longevity:  120 years

  • Soil, water, sunlight preferences:  Pin oak prefers medium to wet, loamy, acidic soils and full sun. It can tolerate poorly

    drained soils and some flooding, but it is adaptable to drier and urban conditions. It is shallow-rooted and easily transplanted.

  • Growth habit of roots:

  • Flower/Seed Details:  Monoecious. Long pendulous chains of yellow to greenish-yellow male flowers appear soon after new leaves unfold in spring

  • Typical Pollination Mechanism:  Insect pollinated

  • Fruits: Acorns are fairly small with a shallow saucer-shaped cap, compare saucer and bowl-shaped acorn caps. 

  • GPS Coordinates: 45.00317N, 92.90342W

Mature Tree in Winter/ Summer

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21 Red oak summer tree

Leaves in Summer / Fall

20 Pin Oak summer leaves 5-17-24
20 Pin Oak fall leaves 5-17-24

Flowers - Female & Male -separate Trees

20 Pin Oak female flowers 5-17-24
20 Pin Oak male catkins 5-17-24

Acorns Unripe / Ripe

Oak acorns are distinctive of the species Northern Pin Oaks have a bitter acorn that takes two years to mature; length 1/2 to 1 inches; reddish-brown, about half enclosed in its cup.

20 Pin Oak green acorns 5-17-24
20 Pin Oak acorns 5-17-24

Bark of Mature Tree / root system sketch

20 Pin Oak mature bark 5-17-24
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Uses in Traditional and Modern Eras

Value for wildlife: small acorns offer good wildlife food

Utility for Humans:  excellent firewood. Used as shade tree, found in residential areas and parks.  

Traditional uses in Native American Tree Medicine (historical):

Information provided by Paul Red Elk, Lakota Medicine Man: 

Homeowners’ Corner: Pin oak is infrequently attacked by the common diseases of oaks. It is susceptible to iron chlorosis due to alkaline soils, which cause yellow coloration in the leaves through the summer months and can eventually kill the tree. Insect pests include leaf cutter ants, gypsy moth, obscure scale, oak leaftier, pin oak sawfly, scarlet oak sawfly, forest tent caterpillar, leaf roller, horned oak gall wasp, and gouty oak gall wasp. Disease problems include oak wilt, oak leaf blister, pin oak blight, and Dothiorella canker.

Links & References

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