Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

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

CHINKAPIN OAK
Quercus muehlenbergii
Fagaceae

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.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: