Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Quercus muehlenbergii

Leaves are simple, alternate and deciduous with regular, rounded, bristle-less, shallow lobes with a callous (mucronate) tip on the end of each lobe. Terminal buds are orange-brown, smooth, and pointed. Bark is similar to white oak but not as scaly. Fruit is an acorn 3/4 inches long with a dark acorn and thin, bowl-shaped cap covering 1/3 of the nut. The acorn matures in one season. Form is up to 24 m (80 ft) in height and 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. Chinkapin oak is found on a variety of sites in the eastern U.S. Chinkapin oak can be distinguished from chestnut oak by mucronate tips on leaf lobes and scaly bark, and from swamp chestnut oak by a more elliptical leaf shape in the upper canopy. The wood is used as white oak lumber. Acorns eaten by game birds, deer, and many small mammals.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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