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Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus michauxii)

The Swamp Chestnut Oak is shares some common characteristics with the chestnut oak, but there are also some noticable differences. Swamp chestnut oak naturally occurs in moist, floodplain soils, and grows slightly larger and much faster than Q. prinus. The bark is scaly when young becoming deeply furrowed as the tree matures, and really unlike any other oaks. While urban testing with this Quercus michauxii is limited, there are two large specimens growing in a tree lawn in Cincinnati, OH that have done remarkably well. The tree appears to tolerate neutral urban soils, and the form is quite nice.

No data was available on wound respose, but Q. michauxii can be expected to be above average, and similar to Q. prinus, and Q. Muehlenbergii. Its tolerance for low oxygen soils suggests that it will do well in urban situations. It should be noted that swamp chestnut oak will tolerate wetter than average soils and periodic short-term flooding, but will not tolerate heavy continuous, or long-term seasonal flooding, and urban foresters should consider another tree such as overcup oak, or other flood-tolerant tree for those conditions. The plant will grow north into zone 5, but seed source is an important consideration when planting in the northern extent of its range. Swamp Chestnut Oak is a tree that definitely deserves a closer look and more urban trials.

Swamp Chestnut Oak
Swamp Chestnut Oaks in Cincinnati. If you have a photo of this tree that you would like to donate for use on this site, please contact the webmaster.
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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