Chestnut oak is native to the far southern edge of Illinois but is hardy in the northern part of the state. Fall color varies from red to orange to yellow-brown. Also known as Quercus prinus.
All Common Names:
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Shade tree,
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil
- Messy fruit/plant parts
- Attractive bark
Season of Interest:
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Cavity-nesting birds,
- Migrant birds
Tree & Plant Care
A deep taproot makes this tree difficult to transplant.
Prune oaks in the dormant season to avoid attracting beetles that may carry oak wilt.
Can tolerate most soils except those that drain poorly.
Disease, pests, and problems
Oak wilt is a potential disease problem.
Insect pests include scale and two-lined chestnut borer.
Galls caused by mites or insects are common, but not harmful.
Native geographic location and habitat
Often found on very poor, dry soils.
Bark color and texture
Very dark, deeply ridged and furrowed bark at maturity. Ridges are distinctly V-shaped (wider at the base of the ridge than at the top).
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate, obovate leaves; margins are coarsely serrated; 4 to 6 inches long.
Medium green on the upper leaf surface; whitish on the lower surface. Fall color varies from red to orange to yellow-brown.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Male flowers in dangling catkins; female flowers smaller and held close to the stem. Not ornamentally important.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Acorns, 1 to 1 1/4 inch long topped with a bumpy cap that covers 1/3 to 1/2 of the nut.