Trees of Wisconsin

Quercus palustris Muncch.
pin oak
Family: Fagaceae
tree branch leaf leaf, under-surface bud fruit bark

The leaves of Quercus palustris are simple, alternate and deeply lobed with sharp tips. The leaves are similar to those of Q. coccinea, Q. velutina and Q. ellipsoidalis, but Q. palustris is distinguished from all three by glabrous buds that are round in cross-section. The underside of the leaf also tends to have conspicuous tufts of hairs in the axils of the lateral veins (but so does Q. ellipsoidalis, so look carefully at the buds, and acorns if present). The acorns are generally smaller than the other species, but there is overlap in the dimensions. The acorn cap is often less than 6 mm high and less than 1/3 of the total length of the acorn. The other three species mentioned above generally have caps greater than 6 mm high and more than 1/3 of the total length of the acorn. See the key for specifics on identification of Wisconsin oaks, or go to the Flora of North America treatment on the web for more information. [Photos above were taken in Indiana.]

Quercus palustris ranges from Arkansas and Missouri to Ohio and from North Carolina to New Jersey. It is very rare in Wisconsin, barely reaching north to extreme southern Wisconsin in Grant county, along the Mississippi River.

known Wisconsin distribution


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