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Quercus prinus

Chestnut Oak

            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Q. prinus is an unusual, relatively rare species that I have only seen a few selected specimens of and then only in cultivation. A very majestic tree, with untypical oak leaves; it more closely resembles the American chestnut than an Oak. It can reach an enormous height of 30 m and thus is suited to the park or commercial landscape.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Quercus montana
RHS Hardiness Zone
30 m
25 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
ID Characteristic
The chestnut oak is readily identified by its massively-ridged dark gray-brown bark, the thickest of any eastern North American oak. The leaves are 12-20 cm long and 6-10 cm broad, shallowly lobed with 10-15 rounded lobes on each margin; they are virtually identical to the leaves of swamp chestnut oak and chinkapin oak, but the trees can readily be distinguished by the bark, that of the chinkapin oak being a light ash-gray and somewhat peeling like that of the white oak and that of swamp chestnut oak being paler ash-gray and scaly. The chinkapin oak also has much smaller acorns than the chestnut oak. The chestnut oak is easily distinguished from the swamp white oak because that tree has whitened undersides on the leaves.
Bark/Stem Description
Dark, fissured into broad ridges, scaly. Branchlets stout, at first bronze green, later they become reddish brown, finally dark gray or brown. Heavily charged with tannic acid.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Light chestnut brown, ovate, acute, one-fourth to one-half of an inch long.
Leaf Description
Alternate, 12-20 cm long and 6-10 cm broad, obovate to oblong-lanceolate, wedge-shaped or rounded at base, coarsely crenately toothed, teeth rounded or acute, apex rounded or acute. They come out of the bud convolute, yellow green or bronze, shining
Flower Description
Staminate flowers are borne in hairy aments two to three inches long; calyx pale yellow, hairy, deeply seven to nine-lobed; stamens seven to nine; anthers bright yellow. Pistillate flowers on short spikes; peduncles green, stout, hairy; involucral sc
Fruit Description
The acorns are 1.5-3 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, among the largest of native American oaks. Annual, singly or in pairs; nut oval, rounded or acute at apex, bright chestnut brown, shining, one and a quarter to one and one-half inches in length; cup, cup