Maryland Native Trees: Quercus palustris – Pin Oak

Feb 15, 2024 | Blog, Native Plant Spotlight

Trees for wet areas

Quercus palustris – Pin Oak

Pin oak info card

Quercus palustris, also called pin oak, easily grows in average, medium to wet, acidic soils in full sun to partial hade. Prefers moist loams. Tolerates poorly drained soils as well as some flooding. May take up to 15-20 years for this tree to bear a first crop of acorns. Quercus palustris is a medium sized deciduous oak of the red oak group that typically grows 50-70’ (less frequently to 100’) tall with a broad pyramidal crown. Pin oaks are one of the fastest growing species of oak, averaging 12-15 feet in a 5-7 year period. Trunk diameter to 3’. Smooth gray-brown bark usually develops ridging with age.

Insignificant monoecious yellowish-green flowers in separate male and female catkins appear in spring as the leaves emerge. Fruits are rounded acorns (to 1/2” long), with shallow, saucer-shaped acorn cups that barely cover the acorn base. Acorns are an important source of food for wildlife. Glossy, dark green leaves (to 5” long) typically have 5 bristle-tipped lobes with deeply cut sinuses extending close to the midrib. Leaves turn deep red in fall. Host plant to numerous butterflies and moths including the gray hairstreak and American Dagger Moth. Acorns are eaten by birds and mammals.

Common Name: pin oak
Type: Tree
Family: Fagaceae
Height: 50.00 to 70.00 feet
Spread: 40.00 to 60.00 feet
Bloom Time: April – Wind pollinated
Bloom Description: Yellowish-green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Wet Soil

(Information from Missouri Botanical Garden)
Pin oak foliage

Pin oak foliage

Pin oak in winter

Pin oak in winter

Pin oak fall foliage

Pin oak fall foliage

Shop Natives by Category

Signup For Our Newsletter