General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 60 - 80 feet
Plant Spread: 40 - 60 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: K (Potassium)
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Seeds are hydrophilic
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Awards and Recognitions: Texas Superstar®

Common names
  • Chinkapin Oak
  • Yellow Chestnut Oak
  • Chinquapin Oak
  • Oak
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Quercus muehlenbergii
  • Synonym: Quercus prinoides var. acuminata
  • Synonym: Quercus acuminata

  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 7, 2017 2:58 PM concerning plant:
    Chinkapin Oak is a most lovely member of the White Oak subgroup that has a good sized native range from the southeast tip of Ontario to some spots in New York & north New Jersey & Pennsylvania down to northwest Florida to east Texas and a little into northeast Mexico in the mountains, up eastern Oklahoma & Kansas through half of Iowa to barely into southern Wisconsin through southern Michigan back to Ontario. It grows about 1 foot/year and lives about 200 years. It grows in well-drained to dry soils that are barely acid to well-alkaline the most, but it can be found in moist or draining wet soils near watercourses or in bottomlands. I first saw some growing in dry, dolomitic limestone soil near Batavia in northeast Illinois in the 1980's, but I also found three good specimens in slightly acid, moist soil near a creek in Downingtown, Pennsylvania in 2019. This species is one of those plants that is found only in certain spots and is not wide-spread all over the place as Northern Red Oak or Red Maple in much of the eastern USA. Its leaves are 4 to 7 inches long by 1 to 4 inches wide with coarse roundly pointed teeth and some white hair below. (Its leaves are similar to the Chestnut Oak of the Appalachian Region; the Swamp White Oak, and the Swamp Chestnut Oak of the South, the latest that I have never seen.) Cinkapin's bark is much like that of the White Oak; that is ashy gray to gray-brown and scaly. Its acorns are sessile, brown to almost black, ovoid, about 0.5 to 0.8 inches long with the lower half in a bowl-shaped scaly cup. These small acorns, smaller than most of the White Oak Group, are very high value to birds and mammals and it hosts a large number of beneficial insects as other oaks do. A few large, diverse nurseries and some native plant nurseries sell it. I've only seen one planted in the Morton Arboretum landscape; otherwise, I've only seen wild ones.

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