The Chestnut Oak (also called basket or rock oak) is an alkaline soil indicator plant and will tolerate very alkaline soils, but also thrives in the acid soils of southeastern Ohio. In its natural habitat it is found in rocky limestone soils and tolerates limited root space. While urban testing with the Chestnut Oak is limited, the landscape tests have shown promising results. This plant should do well under similar conditions to those preferred by the chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)
The tree reaches heights of 90 feet in ideal conditions but will be considerably smaller in many landscape applications. The habit is pyramidal or oval as a young tree changing to a more rounded outline as the tree ages. It should be noted that in heavily stressed areas and restricted root spaces, such as sidewalk cut-outs, chestnut oak will tend to bonzai as a small (~20-25 foot) oval tree, but it will thrive. This may or may not be desirable, and as a result the tree is best suited to moderately restricted root spaces such as generous parking lot islands, large tree lawns, and open areas.