Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

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

Pin Oak (Red Oak)
Quercus palustris
Fagaceae

Leaves are simple, alternate and deciduous with 5-7 bristle-tipped lobes, and deep U-shaped sinuses. The base of the leaf is often truncated. Terminal buds are red-brown, ovoid, and smooth. Branches are often at 90 degree angles to the trunk in the lower crown and branches may have small, "pin-like" lateral branches. Bark is gray and smooth, becoming shallowly fissured with age. Fruit is an acorn 1/2 inches long with a mahogany striped nut and saucer-like cap covering the base of the nut, maturing in two seasons. Form is up to 36 m (120 ft) in height and 1.5 m (5 ft) in diameter with branches forming 90 degree angles. Pin oak is planted as a shade tree in Alabama and is intolerant of shade.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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