Black oak

Silhouette - black oak
  • Latin name: Quercus velutina Lam.
  • French name: Chêne noir
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19447
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf form and detail of hairs in vein axils of leaf undersurface - black oak
  • Leaf form - black oak

Form

  • Base rounded
  • 5–7 lobes
  • Each lobe oblique or at a right angle to the midvein
  • Sides of lobes parallel
  • Separated by deep U-shaped notches
  • Hairy early in the season
  • Later a few stellate hairs remain on veins and in the vein axils of the lower surface 
  • Lower surface rather rough

Length

  • 10–20 cm
  • Central lobe may be twice as long as leaf width between opposite notches

Colour

  • Upper surface shiny dark green
  • Lower surface yellowish-brown

Margin

  • A few coarse bristle-tipped teeth

Petiole

  • Stout
  • 7–15 cm long

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - black oak

Form

  • Terminal bud ovoid, sharp-pointed
  • Distinctly angled
  • Scale surfaces obscured by woolly hairs

Length

  • 6–8 mm

Colour

  • Woolly hairs greyish-white

Twigs

  • Winter twig - black oak

Form

  • Moderately stout
  • Hairless or slightly hairy

Colour

  • Dark reddish-brown

Flowers

Form

  • Pollen flowers small
  • In many-flowered drooping catkins
  • Seed flowers small
  • Solitary or in few-flowered clusters (spikes)

Structure

  • Monoecious

Floral timing

  • With the leaves

Fruits

  • Acorn - black oak

Form

  • Acorns small
  • Cup bowl-shaped enclosing about one-half of the nut
  • Scales loose-fitting, thin, slightly hairy
  • Sometimes forming a fringe to the cup

Length

  • Acorns 12–20 mm

Width

  • Almost as wide as long
  • Cup 12–24 mm

Colour

  • Cup dull brown

Structure

  • 1-seeded nut

Bark

Form

  • Smooth when young, becoming deeply furrowed with irregular, rounded ridges
  • Ridges divided into squarish segments

Colour

  • Dark grey when young, becoming almost black
  • Inner bark yellowish

Wood

Colour

  • Light brown

Size

Height

  • To 20 m

Diameter

  • To 90 cm

Maximum age

  • 200 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - black oak

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Distinct up to the crown

Crown

  • Irregular, variable
  • Principal branches horizontal in lower crown
  • Principal branches ascending in upper crown

Root system

  • Deep, wide-spreading, with a deep taproot

Habitat

Site

  • Dry sandy soils
  • Also on steep slopes with heavy soils

Light tolerance

  • Intolerant of shade

Associated species

  • Mixed with other broadleaf species

Range

Southern Ontario north of Lakes Erie and Ontario

Photos
  • Black oak
  • Black oak
  • Black oak
  • Black oak
Distribution map
Distribution map - black oak
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