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Chinquapin Oak (Quercus muehlenbergii)

The Chinquapin Oak (pictured below) is in the white oak group and is one of the longer-lived oaks with an expected service life of forty years. These plants are relatively slow-growing as younger plants, becoming massive with age. Fruit which is borne heavily every three to five years is less a problem with this oak than most since the fruit is smaller and secondly, more sought after as a food source than other oaks. The preference of animals for the fruit of this plant has made it difficult for the nursery industry to get seed reliably. Chinquapin oak is an alkaline soil indicator plant. That is unusual for the oaks. Alkaline soil tolerance is a very desirable for sites dominated by human activity. The ability to prosper on dry sites and withstand construction activity also contributes to its value in the urban scene.

Although not tested, this plant may be slowed in growth dramatically in restricted root spaces allowing th plant to remain thirty years or so under power lines without pruning. Later, as the plant continued to grow, it would need to be maintained. This is also an excellent plant for parks and open areas where overhead space is not limited. Recent urban tests of the closely related chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), have had similar promising results.

NOTE: Chinkapin Oaks (as of 2001 mostly small stock and liners) are available from: EARTHSCAPES Inc. 10403 State Rt. 48 Loveland, Ohio 45140 Phone: 513-683-0844


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T. Davis Sydnor, Ph. D. and Nick E. D'Amato
Urban Forestry Department
School of Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
2021 Coffey Road,
Columbus OH 43210
(614) 292-3865