Black Oak

Quercus velutina

Black Oaks are medium to large trees, growing to around 80 feet. Their trunks are usually no more than two and a half feet wide.

Black Oak leaves are four to ten inches long, with seven to nine lobes (like fingers). Lobes have a pointy bristle on the end. Leaves are shiny green above, and pale green below. Sometimes they have brown hairs underneath. Black Oak leaves turn red in the fall.

The bark of Black Oak is smooth and gray on young trees, but as it gets older the bark turns black and thick with deep furrows (wrinkles). The inner bark of this tree is orangish-yellow.

Courtesy of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma, www.noble.org

Landscape Horticulture at Auburn University

Landscape Horticulture at Auburn University

Black Oak fruit is an acorn, about 3/4 inch long. Acorns are covered half-way by a cap. Black Oak acorns take about two years to mature and grow.

Black Oak trees are found with other trees, such as American Elm, Black Walnut, hickories, Southern Red Oak, Red Maple, Yellow Poplar, Virginia Pine, Eastern White Pine, Eastern Red Cedar, Loblolly Pine, Black Cherry, Sassafras, Redbud, and Paw Paw. They are found with shrubs like Spicebush, Witch-hazel, and Sumac.

Some vines that grow on Black Oaks are Greenbriar, grape, Poison Ivy, and Virginia Creeper.

OPLIN

Wellesley College

Cavities in Black Oaks are home to many animals, especially woodpeckers.

Acorns are eaten by squirrels, mice, voles, White-tailed Deer, and insects. Many birds, such as Bluejays and turkeys, also eat them.

Gypsy Moths defoliate (eat all the leaves of) Black Oaks. After a few seasons, this will kill the tree.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Pileated Woodpecker

American Elm

European Gypsy Moth Pa

Meadow Vole

Carolina Chickadee

Willow Oak

Crowded Parchment Pa

White-tailed Deer

Black Rat Snake

Black Cherry

Honey Mushroom Pa

Wild Turkey

Wood Duck

Sassafras

Turkey Tail Pa

Blue Jay

Black Carpenter Ant

Yellow Poplar

Blue Jay D

European Gypsy Moth

Barred Owl

Virginia Pine

Eastern Gray Squirrel D

Red Fox

Wild Turkey

Eastern White Pine

Virginia Opossum D

Common Crow

Big Brown Bat

Pink Lady's Slipper

White-breasted Nuthatch D

Mallard

Eastern Gray Squirrel

White Oak

Mallard D

Wood Duck

Common Crow

Spicebush

Wood Duck D

Common Grackle

Blue Jay

Greenbrier

European Starlling D

White-breasted Nuthatch

Dogday Harvestfly

Poison Ivy

Tufted Titmouse D

Oak Apple Gall Wasp

Oak Apple Gall Wasp

Virginia Creeper

Downy Woodpecker D

Soil Mite

European Gypsy Moth

Eastern Redcedar

Common Crow D

Tufted Titmouse

White-tailed Deer

Red Maple

Jack O'Lantern Pa

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebird

Mockernut Hickory

Death Cap My

True Katydid

Harvestman

Sweetgum

Artist's Conk Pa

Eastern Chipmunk

True Katydid

White Cushion Moss

Oak Apple Gall Wasp Pa

Virginia Opossum

Downy Woodpecker

Bracken Fern

Common Greenshield SP

Dogwood Borer

Dogwood Borer

Black Locust

Dogwood Borer Pa

Relationship to Humans:

Black Oaks are used by people for furniture, flooring, barrels, railroad ties, fenceposts, and firewood.

They are also very important for the amount of wildlife that use them as a food source and shelter. Much of this wildlife benefits humans as well.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Fagales
FAMILY
Fagaceae
GENUS
Quercus
SPECIES
Quercu velutina

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