Oaks are a group of hardwood trees belonging to the genusquercusand the beech family, Fagaceae. All types of oaks are classified into two groups: white oaks and red oaks. To identify the type of oak, you need to look at its bark, leaves, acorns, and general shape.
Oaks are one of the common tree species in forests and parks in temperate countries in the northern hemisphere. Due to their graceful stature and hardwood, oaks are a prized type of tree in any landscape.
Whether you're looking for the perfect oak tree for your backyard landscape or looking to identify oak trees in woodlands, this article will help you know what to look for.
Hayabout 450 species of oaks, 58 of which are native to North America. Most oak species areTrees of feeble leaves- which means they lose their leaves in autumn. However, among the hundreds of species of oaks, you will also find someperennial varieties.
Oaks are also huge trees. Some of the taller oak varieties can reach up to 30 meters in height, some even higher. Oaks also have a wide distribution because their strong branches can grow up to 135 (41 m) long.
othe fruits of oak trees are called acorns(also called oak nuts). Acorns have a soft, leathery shell that sits in a cup called a dome. Many oak trees only begin producing acorns after 20 to 30 years and can produce thousands of acorns per year.
Acorns are the fruit of the oak tree. Acorn is technically akind of fruitbecause it has a seed. The acorn is also classified asnut typebecause its outer shell is hard.
All oak species are divided into two groups: white oaks (Quercus, subgenus leucobalanus) and red oaks (Quercus, subgenus Erythrobalanus). White oaks have gray bark and round-lobed leaves without bristles. Red oaks have darker colored bark and leaves with pointed, bristle lobes.
Red oaks typically have lobed leaves with pointed tips and small bristles on the lobed tips. Its acorns take two years to mature and taste very bitter and inedible. The leaves are 12–22 cm (5–9 in) long.
White oaks typically have lobed leaves with rounded tips and no bristles. Its acorns take a year to mature and have a sweet or slightly bitter taste. White oak leaves are similar in length to those of red oaks.
The bark of young oaks is smooth and has a silvery-brown appearance. As oak trees mature, the bark cracks and deep ridges and ridges develop along it. Depending on the oak species, the bark becomes light gray (white oak species) or very dark, almost black (red oak species).
White oak leaves vs. red oak leaves: white oak leaves typically have rounded ends (left), while red oak leaves typically have pointed ends (right)
In general, oak trees can be identified by their distinctive lobed leaves. White oak leaves often have rounded ends, while red oak leaves often have pointed ends.
White oak leaves tend to have rounded lobes and rounded tips with no bristles at the tip of the lobe. You may also see rounded serrations along the edges of the leaves.
Red oaks tend to have pointed leaves with bristles at the tips of the lobes. In general, there is a greater variety of leaf shapes in red oak species: some leaves have jagged edges, while others have smooth edges.
White oak acorns mature faster than red oak acorns. White oak acorns take one season to mature, while red oak fruits take about two seasons to mature.
Red oak acorns are larger and heavier than white oak acorns.
White oak acorns have a sweet or slightly bitter taste. Red oak acorns taste very bitter and are inedible.
To identify oak trees, look for bark that has deep fissures and grooves, giving it a scaly appearance. The color of the bark of oak trees varies from whitish gray to dark, almost black. You can identify oaks by their deeply lobed leaves with pointed or rounded tips.
Let's take a closer look at how to identify the common types of oaks: white oaks and red oaks.
Types of Red Oaks (with photos)
oak pine (Quercus palustris)
pine oak and its leaves
Roblesgrow to a medium size with a maximum height of 72 feet (22 m). The growth of the branches makes the trunk almost imperceptible due to the drooping of the lower branches. The upper canopy of Alvarinho oak is an identifying feature with its loose, spreading growth.
Oak bark:Immature oak trees have smooth, reddish-gray bark that gradually becomes rougher and grayer as the tree matures.
Oak leaves:Oak trees are identified by their bright green leaves that are deeply lobed with pointed tips. Each lobe has bristly teeth, and the leaves are hairless.
water oak (Quercus nigra)
water oak and leaves
Water oaks grow up to 100 feet tall with leaves that don't drop until mid-winter. The unique leaves of the water oak make it easy to identify: the dull green leaves are spoon-shaped with a slightly rounded tip and grow in clusters.
Oak bark:Water oak has smooth bark that becomes rough and scaly and almost black as the oak matures.
water oak bark
Oak leaves:Water oak leaves have a variation in shape, ranging from rounded like an oblong spoon to three-lobed with bristle tips.
black oak (Quercus velutina)
Black oak bark and leaves
Black oaks grow up to 100 ft (30 m) tall with dense foliage that grows into a sizable, flat canopy. Identify black oaks by their deeply lobed, bright green leaves with U-shaped notches. This species of red oak has orange inner bark and dark gray outer bark.
Oak bark:Long, shallow fissures and grayish-black scaly bark help identify black oak.
Oak leaves:Black oak is identified by its glossy, dark green leaves with U-shaped notches and pointed lobes. Look for fine hairs on the underside of the leaves.
cherry oak (quercus pagoda)
Cherrybark oak bark and leaves
Cherry bark oaks are one of the most imposing oaks growing to between 100 and 130 feet (30 to 40 m). This variety of oak is also one of the fastest growing trees. The oak species name comes from the bark, which is similar to the bark of the black cherry tree.
Oak bark:Cherrybark oaks have dark gray, scaly bark identified by narrow ridges.
Oak leaves:The identifying characteristic of cherry oak leaves is the random arrangement of the lobes on each side of the leaf. The leaves are shiny, dark green in color and smooth, with fine hairs on the underside.
northern red oak (Quercus rubra)
northern red oak leaves
onorthern red oak – also called champion oak- is a tall, upright oak tree that grows up to 92 feet (28 m) and sometimes higher. Red oak foliage is lobed, but sometimes shallower than many other red oaks. This species of oak is one of the most popular oaks in North America.
Oak bark:The unique identifying feature of red oak bark is the bright streaks down the center of the fissures that run up the tree. The color of the bark is dark brown to reddish gray.
Northern Red Oak Bark
Oak leaves:Northern red oak leaves are dark green, smooth, and lobed with teeth at the tips of the lobes.
scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea)
Red oak is a medium-sized oak that grows 67 to 100 feet (20 to 30 m). Oak is similar to oak or black oak. However, the difference in the shape of the leaves helps to identify between species. Scarlet oaks have lobed leaves with C-shaped notches, not U-shaped ones.
Scarlet Oak Leaves and Scarlet Oak Bark
Oak bark:Scarlet oak bark has wide, irregular scaly grooves and hairline fissures.
Oak leaves:Identify scarlet oak leaves by their deep lobes and C-shaped sinuses (notches between lobes) tipped with bristling teeth.
southern red oak (oak cut)
southern red oak and its leaves
Southern red oak, also called Spanish oak, thrives in the southern states in sandy soil and full sun. The deciduous tree grows to between 82 and 100 feet (25 to 30 m). An identifying feature of southern red oak are the acorns, which are orange-brown in color and are shorter than other oaks.
southern red oak acorns
Oak bark:Southern red oaks have dark gray bark with scaly plates.
southern red oak bark
Oak leaves:Identify the southern red oak with its narrow, deeply lobed leaves with significant spacing between the lobes.
Japanese evergreen oak (Quercus acuta)
Japanese Evergreen Oak Leaves and Bark
The unique identifying characteristics of the Japanese oak is that it is the smallest oak and a type ofevergreen tree. This evergreen oak has a maximum height of 45 feet (14 m). Additionally, the smooth, narrowly lanceolate or oval leaves and smooth bark make Japanese oak unlike any other oak species.
Oak bark:Japanese oaks have smooth, dark gray bark, unlike most other oak species.
Oak leaves:The shiny, oval leaves that have a finely rounded tip and a long tip help identify the Japanese evergreen oak.
oak laurel (Quercus laurifolia)
oak bay leaves
Laurel oak is a semi-evergreen oak species that grows to 65-70 ft (20-24 m). This oak is native to the east coast of the US, where it grows in soggy soil; hence its other names, water oak and swamp oak.
Oak bark:Bay oak bark is dark brown with shallow fissures and rough grooves.
bay laurel and acorn bark
Oak leaves:Bay oak has brilliant green, diamond-shaped leaves. Occasionally the long narrow leaves may be lobed. Oak is also called diamond leaf oak.
sauce roble (Quercus phellos)
willow oak bark and leaves
odressing gownsit is a medium-sized type of red oak that grows 65 to 100 feet (20 to 30 m) tall. the willows arefast growing treeswhich can grow 2 ft (0.6 m) per year and have a dense oblong crown when mature.
Oak bark:Identify willow oaks by their rough, gray-brown bark that becomes narrow cracks as it matures.
Oak leaves:The willow has smooth, narrow, lanceolate, pointed leaves. Willow oak leaves help distinguish it from other red oak species. Unlike other oaks, willow leaves do not have lobes or teeth.
Coast Live Oak o California Live Oak Tree (Quercus agrifolia)
Coastal oak tree and leaves (Quercus agrifolia)
Coast oak is a sprawling, medium-sized evergreen tree with smooth dark gray bark when the tree is young and becoming deeply furrowed as the tree matures, spiny dark green leaves, and narrow acorns. egg shaped. In a landscape, the California oak can be recognized by its gnarled branching and broadly rounded crown. Coastal oaks grow from 30 to 80 feet (10 to 25 m) tall.
Coastal oak acorns are identified by their slender egg shape with a pointed apex. The nuts are dark reddish-brown to black, and a warty dome covers one-third of the acorn. Unlike other live oak species, acorns are ready to harvest in seven months.
Ripe oak bark and acorns from the coast
Looking at pictures of coastal oak leaves, you'll notice that they resemble holly leaves. The glossy green evergreen leaves are oval in shape with spiny margins. Oak leaves fall in early spring and new leaves appear quickly. The leaves are 0.8 to 2.7 cm long and up to 4 cm wide.
When in flower, coastal oak produces clusters of greenish-yellow or reddish-yellow flowers on 2–4 in (5–10 cm) stems.
coast oak blossoms
In a landscape, coastal oaks are stately tree specimens for USDA zones 9 through 11. You can also plant the tree and cut it back to grow an evergreen hedge.
Oak bark:Coast oak bark is smooth and gray and becomes deeply grooved as the tree matures.
Oak leaves:Coast oak leaves are identifiable by their oval shape, leathery feel, and pointed edges.
Carvalho Shumard (Quercus shumardii)
Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii) tree and leaves
Shumard oak is an impressive deciduous oak from the red oak family and has a recognizable pyramidal crown. This fast growing oak has dark green leaves with deeply cut lobes. The acorns have a rounded shape and a flat base. Shumard oak bark is smooth and gray becoming rough and dark gray.
Shumard oak bark and acorn
Shumard oaks grow 50 to 70 feet (15 to 21 m) tall and spread 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 m). Oak grows best in open landscapes in USDA zones 5 through 9. Like all oaks, the tree thrives in full sun and moist, well-draining soil.
One of the attractive features of Shumard oak is the deeply lobed, jagged-looking leaves. The leaves are 10–20 cm long and have five to nine pointed lobes with soft bristle-like tips. In fall, the foliage of the Shumard oak turns an attractive red color.
Shumard oaks produce oval acorns that are up to 3 cm long. Brown acorns are identified by their rounded apex and flattened base, giving them a stubby appearance. The acorn cap is thin and scaly and usually covers less than a third of the acorn.
Oak bark:Shumard oak bark is smooth and gray in immature trees and gradually becomes rough, wrinkled, and dark gray in color over time.
Oak leaves:The leaves of the Shumard oak have recognizable deep, pointed lobes with bristly tips. The broadly obovate leaves are dark green above and light green below. Oak leaves turn a spectacular bright red color in autumn.
Peruvian oak (Quercus laevis)
Peruvian oak tree and leaves (Quercus laevis)
Peruvian oak is a smallacorn treewith deeply lobed green leaves, small reddish-brown acorns, and dark gray to black bark. These oaks only grow 26 to 33 feet (8 to 10 m) tall and thrive in poor soil where other oaks cannot grow. The oak is medium-growing and matures to form a broad, rounded crown.
turkey oak bark and acorn
Oak bark:Peruvian oak bark is identified by its dark gray color and irregular pattern.
Oak leaves:Turkey oak leaves are dark green with three distinct lobes, making the leaf look like a turkey leg. The fall color of oak is reddish-brown, and the leaves persist through winter.
Types of White Oaks (with photos)
Eastern white oak (quercus alba)
Eastern white oak and its leaves
Eastern white oak is a huge tree growing to around 100 ft (30 m) with a large, broad canopy. White oak is prized for its white wood.
Oak bark:Eastern oak has light grayish-white bark with fine, narrow fissures. To identify oak by bark, look for overlapping scales down the middle of the trunk.
Eastern white oak bark (Quercus alba)
Oak leaves:Large obovate leaves that have deep lobes with rounded tips.
english oak (Quercus robur)
English oak bark, leaves and acorns
The English oak, or common oak, is a stately oak that grows to a height of between 40 and 70 feet (12 to 21 m). The English oak is identified by its large, thick crown and hard trunk that can be 13 to 40 feet (4 to 12 m) in diameter.
Oak bark:English oak has dark gray bark with deep fissures covering the thick trunk and thick branches.
Oak leaves:You can easily identify English oak leaves by their small, rounded leaves with smooth edges. The leaves of the English oak have the classic shape of these acorn-producing trees.
Pole Oak (star oak)
Oak bark, leaves and general shape.
Pole oak is a type of white oak that is one of the smaller species in the genus.quercus. Oak trees grow 33 to 50 feet (10 to 15 m) and have a thick trunk. To identify the oak, look for its short stature and huge spreading crown.
Oak bark:The thick, fissured, light gray bark identifies polar oak.
Oak leaves:Pole oak is identified by its slightly lobed leaves that form a cross, some say similar to a Maltese cross.
Donkey Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Bur oak leaves and acorn
Bur oak is a large species of white oak that grows to about 100 feet (30 m) tall, sometimes reaching 160 feet (50 m). Bur oak is one of the large oaks in terms of density, with trunks up to 3 meters in diameter. This slow growing oak grows in North America.
Oak bark:Bur oak has medium gray bark with deep narrow scales and vertical grooves.
Oak leaves:Bur oaks have unusually shaped large leaves with small lobes up to half the length of the leaf and a broad, rounded apex.
Oak Sand Pole (quercusMargarita)
sand oak (Quercus margarettae)
Sandpost oak is one of the smaller white oaks, only growing to 40 feet (12 m) tall. The shrubby oak thrives in the southeastern states on sandy soils.
oak leaves and sand bark
Oak bark:Sand oaks have gray bark with shallow fissures and scaly ridges.
Oak leaves:Identify sand oaks with their rounded, deeply lobed leaves that have a rounded tip.
Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana)
Oregon white oak bark and leaves
Oregon white oak is native to the northwest coast of North America and grows between 20 and 30 m (65 and 100 ft). Some types of Oregon oaks can grow as shrubs in small gardens, reaching 10–16 ft (3–5 m) in height.
Oak bark:Oregon white oak has light gray, heavily furrowed bark with pronounced ridges.
Oak leaves:Oregon white oak has bright green leaves with rounded tips. The leaves have U-shaped sinuses and a slightly rounded apex.
Sessile oak (Quercus petraea)
Sessile oak bark, leaves and acorns
Sessile oak is a large species of white oak that grows 66 to 130 feet (20 to 40 m) tall. Originally from Europe, Sessile Oak is widespread in Ireland and is also called Irish Oak. The leaves of the deciduous oak turn from dark olive green to golden yellow in the fall.
Oak bark:Sessile oak has smooth gray bark when young, gradually cracking as it matures.
Oak leaves:Identify sessile oak by its sinuous, slightly lobed leaves that resemble teeth at the margins.
Oak Brown (Quercus montana)
Bark and leaves of chestnut oak (Quercus montana)
Chestnut oaks are medium-sized white oaks that grow 60 to 70 feet (18 to 22 m) tall. Most of the foliage and branches grow above chestnut oak, where it has a canopy that stretches 70 ft (18 m) wide.
Oak bark:Chestnut oak is identified by its unique bark, with deep fissures producing pronounced sharp ridges.
Oak leaves:The leaves of the chestnut tree grow in clusters with jagged edges and no spines. Pronounced V-shaped veins also help identify chestnut leaves.
Holm oak (Quercus ilex)
holm oak and its leaves
Holm oak is a species of evergreen white oak that also goes by names like evergreen oak and holly. Holm oaks are a medium to large variety of oak that grows from 21 to 28 m (70 to 91 ft).
Oak bark:Unlike other types of oak, holm oak has gray to black bark with fine fissures that look like small cracks in the tree, similar to dry earth.
holm oak bark
Oak leaves:The holm oak is characterized by its glossy leaves, oblong to lanceolate in shape, without lobes.
Carvalho Chinkapin (Quercus muehlenbergii)
chinkapin oak bark and leaves
The chinkapin oak is a large white oak that grows to 45 to 110 feet (20 to 33 m). This oak has branches that emerge from the trunk quite close to the ground. The growth of the leaves is similar to that of the chestnut tree; however, chinkapin oak has pointed, not rounded, teeth on the edges of its leaves.
Of all the white oak species, the chinkapin tree has the sweetest acorns.
Oak bark:Identify chinkapin oak by its scaly gray bark and shallow fissures.
Oak leaves:The chinkapin oak has leaves that look like chestnut leaves, only with sharper, more pointed teeth, without bristles.
live oak (Quercus Virginiana)
Live oak (Quercus virginiana)
olive oakIt is a sprawling evergreen tree identified by its broad crown, glossy dark green leathery leaves, and dark brown oval acorns. The evergreen oak has thick dark brown bark with deep grooves running up the trunk. Oak trees grow from 40 to 80 feet (12 to 24 m) tall and up to 100 feet (30 m) wide.
Bark of a mature southern oak
Unlike traditional deciduous oaks, live oak has thick leaves with a hairy underside. The leaves are oval and oblong, without the characteristic lobed margins of English oaks. The evergreen leaves are 5–13 cm long and up to 4 cm wide.
live oak leaves and acorns
In spring, a live oak blooms with clusters of greenish-yellow flowers (catkins). These inconspicuous cylindrical flowers grow to about 7.5cm long and bloom in small clusters.
Live oak male flowers (left) and female flowers (right)
After flowering, the female flowers develop in dark brown, egg-shaped clusters with a warty cap. You can recognize acorns from living trees by their dark color and hats that cover a third of the nuts. These oak nuts grow in clusters of five and are ready to harvest from September through November.
Live oaks thrive in USDA zones 8 through 10. Hardwood oaks do best in full sun and moist, well-draining soil.
Oak bark:Live oak bark is identified by its dark brown scaly bark with reddish ridges visible on immature trees.
Oak leaves:The leaves of live oak are elliptical and lanceolate in shape with a glossy dark green sheen, a leathery feel, and a grayish, hairy underside.
Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)
Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) and leaves
White bog oak is a large deciduous tree recognized by its rounded, open canopy, shedding dark gray bark, oval or obovate leaves with lobed margins, and brown barrel-shaped acorns. Bog white oaks bloom with pendulous catkins of golden-yellow flowers in spring.
Bog white oaks grow 50 to 90 feet (15 to 27 m) tall and up to 100 feet (30 m) wide. The enormous spread of the tree makes it an ideal shade tree in open landscapes. To grow a bog oak, it must receive full sun and be planted in well-draining, loamy soil.
The leaves that grow on a swamp white oak are glossy green with a broad oval shape. The deciduous leaves are 4 to 7 inches (10 to 17 cm) long and up to 4 inches (10 cm) at the widest point. Bog oak leaves turn yellowish-brown or red in the fall.
White bog oak acorns are squat, oval brown nuts about 2 cm long and wide. The scaly gray cap of the acorn has fine hairs and covers about half of the acorn.
Oak bark:Bog oak bark is light to dark gray in color with a scaly appearance and deep, rough vertical grooves. Immature bog oaks are identified by their smooth, gray-white bark.
Bark and leaves of swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)
Oak leaves:The leaves of the bog oak are identified by their oval shape with a conical point on the petiole. The green leaf margins have five to seven shallow, rounded lobes.
Carvalho Gambel (Roble Gambelio)
Oak Gambel (Quercus Gambelii)
Gambel's oak is a small shrub-like oak that grows from 3 to 9 m tall. Little oak is identified by its obovate leaves with distinctive deep, rounded lobes, small greenish-brown acorns, and insignificant yellow flowers. This tuft-forming oak also has rough, gray-brown bark.
Gambel oak leaves, immature acorns and bark
Gambel's oak acorns are egg-shaped nuts in shades of yellowish-green, green, and light brown. The oval acorns sit on a wide warty green cap that covers a third of their length. The sweet nuts are a food source for local wildlife.
Also called oak or scrub oak, evergreen deciduous oak has easily recognizable leaves in the typical oak leaf shape. In fall, the foliage of the Gambel Oak is attractive in shades of orange, yellow, and red.
Gambel oaks are suitable for planting in USDA zones 4 through 8. The drought-tolerant tree grows well in full sun. Although this sucking oak can be trained as a hedge, it looks best as a landscape tree.
Gambel oak blossoms
Oak bark:The bark of the Gambel oak is rough and scaly with a brownish-grey appearance.
Oak leaves:The leaves of the Gambel oak have a characteristic oval shape with deep lobes that almost reach the midrib. Oak leaves are 7-12 cm long and 4-6 cm wide.
Oak Cup (Quercus lyrata)
Oak sobrecup (Quercus lyrata) and leaves
Overcup oak is a species of white oak identified by its light brown to chestnut acorns, deeply lobed bright green leaves, and dark gray ribbed bark. In a landscape, an overcup oak has a recognizable domed crown. Supercup oaks grow from 45 to 70 feet (13 to 21 m) tall with a wingspan of 45 feet (13 m).
Overcup oak and acorn bark
In addition to its attractive, evenly rounded crown, acorns help identify overcup oak. The warty acorn cap covers almost the entire nut. Each nut is 0.5" to 1" (1.3 to 2.5 cm) long. Its hole-shaped top is how the oak gets its common name.
The leaves of overcup oaks are wedge-shaped with characteristic lobed margins, typical of deciduous oaks. The leaves are 6–8 in (15–20 cm) long and have glossy green uppers and fuzzy gray-green undersides. The fall color of oak is coppery brown or deep red.
Oak bark:The bark of the overcup oak is identified as dark gray with ribbed grooves that form irregular patterns of scaly grooves on the trunk.
Oak leaves:Overcup oak leaves are bright green with a leathery texture and distinctive wedge shape. Oak leaf margins have five to nine deeply rounded lobes, and the green leaves turn yellow, brown, or red in the fall.
swamp chestnut (Quercus michauxii)
Marsh chestnut tree and leaves (Quercus michauxii)
The marsh chestnut is a tall deciduous tree with an open, irregular crown. The tree is a species of white oak, identified by its obovate leaves with wavy margins, edible rounded brown acorns, and scaly bark with gray scaly ridges. The bog chestnut oak grows to about 20 m in height.
Acorn and Swamp Chestnut Oak Bark
The bog chestnut has several unique characteristics not found in other tree species.quercus. For example, large, sweet acorns can be eaten straight from the tree without having to absorb the tannins.
A unique feature of the chestnut tree is its wood, which can be split into thin, flexible strips. These strips of oak wood are useful for making baskets, and this growth characteristic is the reason why the tree is also called basket oak.
Oak bark:The bog chestnut has identifiable bark that is thin and scaly and tends to peel as the tree matures.
Oak leaves:The brejo chestnut has obovate leaves with toothed margins that give them a wavy appearance. The glossy green leaves grow up to 27 cm long and look like chestnut leaves. In autumn, the bog chestnut takes on brilliant colors of vivid red.
Dwarf Chestnut Oak (Quercus prinoides)
Dwarf chestnut tree and bark (Quercus Prinoides)
Also called dwarf chinkapin oak, the small deciduous oak grows 4-6m tall. Dwarf oak has oval leaves with serrated margins, brownish oval acorns, and brownish-gray bark with rough-textured scaly bark.
acorn and dwarf oak leaves
Oak bark:The bark of the dwarf chestnut is dark brown or gray with scaly bark and irregular cracks.
Oak leaves:Dwarf chestnut leaves are identified as oval leaves with small lobes on the margins. The leaves are 2” to 5” (5 – 13 cm) long and 2.5” (6 cm) wide.
Roble bluejack (Quercus incana)
Blue oak tree and bark (Quercus incana)
Blue oak is a medium-sized tree with bluish-green leaves, a short trunk with dark-gray platinum bark, brown acorns, and an irregular crown. The attractive glossy leaves create dense foliage, but dwarf oak lacks any fall color. Blue oaks typically grow 30 feet (10 m) tall.
Acorn and bluejack oak leaves
Oak bark:The bark of bluejack oak is dark gray or black with pronounced grooves and square planks.
Oak leaves:The leaves of the bluejack oak are glossy green, oval leaves with a rounded apex and are 10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. The leathery leaves remain on the tree until winter.
Oak Lighthouse (Quercus austrina)
Bluff Oak (Quercus austrina) tree and leaves
Bluff oak is a deciduous oak identified by its distinctive narrow leaves, small brown acorns with a scaly gray cap, and light brownish-gray bark with scaly ridges. Lamp oaks grow 45 to 60 feet (14 to 18 m) tall and have an open, rounded canopy.
Oak bark:Bluff oaks have scaly, gray-brown bark that develops in broad ridges.
Oak leaves:Bluff oak leaves are thin elliptical blades with shallow lobes along the edges. The leaves are 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) long and up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide. The fall color of oak is yellow, orange, or coppery brown.
Carvalho Chapman (Quercus chapmanii)
Leaves and bark of Chapman oak (Quercus chapmanii)
oh chapmanthe oak is native to Floridaand southeastern United States. The small shrub-like oak is identified by its gray-brown scaly bark and oblong leaves, sometimes without lobes, or with wavy, rounded lobes. Small pairs of brown acorns with gray caps develop in autumn. Chapman oaks do not grow taller than 20 feet (6 m).
chapman oak acorns
Oak bark:Chapman oak bark has scaly patches that range in color from light gray to light brown.
Oak leaves:Chapman oak leaves are oblong in shape with a rounded apex, and oak leaves turn yellow or red in the fall.
myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia)
myrtle tree (Quercus myrtifolia), leaves and acorns
Myrtle Oak is a type of oak that grows like a shrub rather than a tree. This evergreen oak shrub is common in Florida, where it grows 40 feet (12 m) tall, but the small myrtle bush usually grows to 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 m). This oak is identified by obovate or rounded leathery leaves, globular acorns, and a spreading rounded crown.
Oak bark:The bark of the myrtle oak is dark brown with pronounced grooves and whitish ridges.
Oak leaves:The leaves of the myrtle oak are obovate without lobes along the margin. The leathery green leaves are 5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide.
blue oak (Quercus douglasii)
Blue oak tree and bark (Quercus douglasii)
Blue oak is a majestic oak native to California. Also called mountain oak or iron oak, the tree has bluish-green leaves, light gray bark with deep, dark grooves, and sweet, teardrop-shaped bark.light green spiky acorns. Blue oaks grow 50 to 80 feet (15 to 24 m) with an irregular crown.
Acorn and blue oak leaves
Oak bark:Blue oak bark is relatively thin and scaly and light gray in color.
Oak leaves:Blue oaks have thick, leathery elliptical leaves that may or may not have lobed margins. The leaves are 4–10 cm (1.6–4 in) long.
Live Oak Canyon (Quercus chrysolepis)
Live Carvalho's canyon (Quercus chrysolepis)
Live canon oak is an evergreen oak shrub with a wide spreading crown and dense dark green foliage. Canyon oaks grow from 30 to 80 feet (9 to 24 m) tall. The shrub is identified by its long, pointed leaves, light brown acorns, and bushy appearance.
Cannon of Live Oak Leaves, Acorns, and Bark
Oak bark:The pale gray bark of Canyon live oak can be smooth or scaly, and the thicker stems of this multi-stemmed shrub develop deep grooves.
Oak leaves:Canyon live oak has glossy, leathery lanceolate leaves with a rough, prickly texture. The evergreen leaves are 2.5 to 8 cm long and have a distinctive pointed tip and blunt base.
Texas Oak (Texas Red Oak) (Quercus Buckleyi)
Young Texas red oaks (Quercus Buckleyi). Right image: fall foliage
Texas red oak is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree native tocentral texasfor Oklahoma. Identifying characteristics of the imposing oak are its obovate leaves with pointed lobes, egg-shaped acorns with a shallow crown, and dark gray bark with grooves on the underside of the trunk.
Texas red oak leaves
Texas oaks grow from 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 m) tall and 60 feet (18 m) wide. As an attractive ornamental and shade tree, Texas oak has a rounded canopy and dense foliage. Like many varieties of oak, Texas red oak has striking fall colors when its lobed leaves turn bright orange and red.
Oak bark:Dark gray bark with plate-shaped scales. In some species, the bark may appear smooth and light gray in color.
Oak leaves:The leaves of the Texas oak have five to nine pointed lobes with bristle-tipped teeth. The leaves are 6–12 cm (2.4–4.8 in) long and 5–10 cm (2–4 in) wide.
Roble de Nuttall (Texas Quercus)
Nuttall Oak (Quercus texana) young and mature trees
Nuttall oak is a deciduous oak identified by its broad rounded crown. With its dark green leaves with six to 11 spiny lobes and oval acorns, this native oak makes an excellent shade tree for a landscaping project. Sun-loving oak thrives in moist lowlands, but is also drought tolerant when established.
Nuttall Oak Acorn
Nuttall's Oak provides excellent shade and beauty for areas in USDA zones 6 through 9. The stately oak grows 40 to 80 feet (12 to 24 m) tall and 30 to 60 feet (10 to 20 m) wide. In autumn, Nuttall oak takes on warm shades of orange, burgundy and red.
Oak bark:Oak bark is dark brown or gray in color, showing flat ridges as the tree matures.
Nuttall oak bark
Oak leaves:Nuttall oak leaves are 7.5–15 cm long and lanceolate in shape. They have deeply cut lobes with sharp, spiny tips.
Nuttall oak leaves
Mexican White Oak (Quercus polymorpha)
Mexican white oak (Quercus polymorpha) young tree and leaves
Mexican white oak is a notable ornamental oak native to the southern United States and Mexico. An identifying characteristic of the oak is its oval or egg-shaped leaves without noticeable lobes. In addition, the oak has light gray bark and features 2.5 cm long barrel-shaped acorns.
Also called net-leaf oak or Monterey oak, Mexican white oak grows 40 to 70 feet (12 to 21 m) tall, with its broad, pyramidal crown measuring 25 to 50 feet (7.6 to 15 m). . This deciduous oak is well suited as a shade tree in urban settings in warmer climates. Thrives in USDA zones 7 through 9.
Oak bark:Mexican oak has light to dark gray bark with scaly plates before developing shallow cracks.
Oak leaves:The thick, leathery semi-evergreen leaves are lance-shaped with toothed margins and are 5–13 cm long.
Mexican Blue Oak (Quercus oblongifolia)
Mexican blue oak (Quercus oblongifolia), leaves and acorns
Mexican blue oak is a small evergreen tree characterized by deep bluish-green leaves and light brown, egg-shaped acorns. This small shrub-like oak has densely furrowed light gray bark with leathery leaves and small clusters of yellowish-green flowers. Little oak thrives in semi-arid locations and tolerates poor, sandy soils.
Also called Sonoran blue oak or Arizona blue oak, this oak is native to the southwestern United States. Thick oak grows 5–8 m (16–27 ft) tall. Oak nuts are small, oblong-shaped acorns that are 0.75” (2 cm) long. They sit on bowl-shaped warty caps.
Mexican Blue Oak is an ideal landscaping choice for informal and formal settings in arid landscapes. It thrives in high temperatures and has minimal water requirements.
Oak bark:The bark of the Mexican blue oak is identified by its small square fissured plates in a light gray tone.
mexican blue oak bark
Oak leaves:Attractive lanceolate leaves with rounded apex, deep blue-green above and medium green below.
oak lace (Quercus glaucoides)
Lace oak (Quercus glaucoides)
Lace oak is a small to medium-sized tree that belongs to the white oak section. The evergreen oak has attractive, thick, leathery, grey-green leaves with shallow, rounded lobes. The barrel-shaped acorns of the oak are 2 cm long and sit on a saucer-shaped lid. They usually grow in clusters of one to three nuts.
Also called canyon oak, rock oak, or smoky oak, this deciduous oak reaches 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.6 m) in height and 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 m) in width. . Its relatively small size and tolerance of heat and drought make it an ideal addition to any garden landscape that receives plenty of daily sunlight.
Oak bark:The bark of the lace oak is light gray with scaly ridges and shallow grooves.
Oak leaves:The leaves of the lace oak are obovate or elliptical and 3.8–9 cm (1.5–3.5 in) long with a shallow bulge along the margins. The blue-green color gives oak foliage a smoky look. Oak trees that grow in moist soil tend to have deeper lobes.
oak graves (Quercus graveii)
Grave Oak (Quercus graveii) leaves in Autumn
Grave oak is a medium-sized oak found in Texas, Oklahoma, and northern Mexico. Identifying characteristics of this deciduous oak are its black bark, dark green leaves with deep, rounded lobes, and egg-shaped, sometimes round, acorns. This unusual oak grows from 13 to 15 m tall.
Oak bark:Grave oak bark is dark greyish-black with narrow cracks and flat ridges.
Oak leaves:Oakleaves are glossy green, leathery leaves with three to five triangular lobes, each with a pointed, bristle-tipped apex.
Roble Black Jack (Quercus marlandica)
Blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) young and mature trees
Blackjack oak is an attractive small oak with deciduous leaves, small acorns, and grayish-black bark. Native to the eastern and central United States, this red oak species thrives in dry, arid landscapes. This branching habit creates a misaligned irregular crown. The little oak grows 20 to 40 feet (6 to 12 m) tall and wide.
oak acorn blackjack
Blackjack oak thrives in USDA zones 6 through 9. Typical of red oaks, the tree's foliage has bristle-tipped lobes. In addition, it has elongated acorns 2.5 cm long and clusters of yellowish-green flowers.
Oak bark:Blackjack oak bark is dark gray to black in color and forms rough patches on the trunk.
blackjack oak bark
Oak leaves:Blackjack oak leaves have three to five shallow lobes tipped with bristles. Downy oak leaves are up to 18 cm long and turn yellowish-brown or reddish-brown in the fall.
oak leaves blackjack
blackjack oak leaves in autumn
- Live Oak Tree - Identification and Cultivation Guide
- White Oak - Identification
- Red Oak - Identification