Carlyle Lake


Pin Oak

Quercus palustris


Other Name: None

Pin Oak Bark
Pin Oak Bark
Pin Oak Leaf
Pin Oak Leaf
Pin Oak Leaves
Pin Oak Leaves

Leaves: Alternate, simple blades divided more than half-way to the middle into 5-7 bristle tipped lobes, dark green, shiny and more or less smooth on the upper surface, paler and with tufts of hair along the veins on the lower surface, up to 7 inches long and 4 inches broad; leafstalk up to 2 inches long, slender, usually smooth.

Buds: Pointed, reddish-brown or dark gray, smooth, up to ⅛ inch long.

Bark: Light brown or dark gray, scarcely furrowed.

Twigs: Slender, smooth, reddish-brown to dark gray; pith star-shaped in cross-section; leaf scars alternate but crowded near the tip, half round, usually slightly elevated, with several bundle traces.

Flowers: Staminate and pistillate born separately, but on the same tree, appearing when the leaves begin to unfold, minute, without petals, the staminate in slender, drooping catkins, the pistillate in groups of 1-3.

Fruits: Acorns 1-4 together with or without stalks, the nut hemispherical, up to ½ inch across, pale brown, frequently with darker lines, enclosed less than ¼ by the cup, the cup thin, saucer-shaped, reddish-brown, finely hairy.

Wood: Hard, heavy, coarse-grained, pale brown.

Uses: General construction, fuel, fence post, ornamental.

Habitat: Moist soil; in flood plain woods; along streams; edges of swamps and ponds.

Growth Form: Medium tree up to 75 feet tall; trunk diameter usually less than 3 feet, crown narrowly rounded or oblong, but with the lower branches drooping; trunk straight, with pin-like stubs developing rather low on the trunk.

Distinguishing Feature: Pin Oak is recognized by its drooping lower branches and its small acorns.

Source: Mohlenbrock, Robert. Forest Trees of Illinois. Eighth Edition, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 1996.