SHINGLE OAK
File Size: 70 KB
 
Quercus imbricaria  Michx.
Riley County, Kansas
Height: 40-60 feet
Family: Fagaceae - Oak Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Also Called: Laurel oak.
Trunks: Erect, diameter 1-2 feet; crown open, rounded; on open sites branches low; branches slender, nearly horizontal; bark thick, light grayish-brown, shallowly furrowed; ridges long, flat.
Twigs: Slender, stiff, dark green, becoming brown, shiny, glabrous to sparsely pubescent; terminal bud egg-shaped, 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, pointed, shiny, covered by closely overlapping reddish-brown scales; leaf scars small, half-round, somewhat elevated; bundle scars 10 or more.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, deciduous, elliptic to oblong-lanceolate or oblong-obovate, 3.2 to 8 inches long, 3/5 to 3 inches wide, usually widest near middle, leathery, shiny; upper surface dark green, glabrous; lower surface paler, sparsely pubescent; margins entire; tip pointed, with awn; base rounded or tapering; stalk stout, 1/4 to 4/5 inch long; leaves turn dark red to orange-brown in late autumn and remain on tree into early winter.
Flowers: Early May, with the leaves; monoecious (male and female flowers on same tree); staminate catkins 2-3 inches long, 30-35-flowered, finely grayish-white pubescent; stamens 4-5; anthers yellow; pistillate single or in pairs at base of leaves on new growth, spherical; calyx 4-lobed, yellow, downy; corolla absent; stigma short, 3-lobed, recurved; stalk slender, finely woolly.
Fruit: Autumn of second year (biennial); acorns, solitary or in pairs, somewhat top-shaped; stalk stout, 1.2 inch long; cup about 2/5 inch tall, 1/2 to 3/5 inch wide, enclosing 1/3 to 1/2 of nut; scales few, broad, reddish-brown, downy; nut dome-shaped, about 1/2 inch long, 1/2 to 3/5 inch in diameter, dark brown, frequently with fine longitudinal ridges, velvety-hairy; kernel bitter, not edible.
Habitat: Upland woods, ravines, floodplains, stream banks, borders of prairies; moderately dry to moderately moist soils.
Distribution: East 1/4 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Ornamental shade tree. The wood was used for shingles, furniture, lumber, firewood, and wagon spokes. Native Americans chewed the bark for mouth sores, steeped the bark and applied the liquid to chapped skin and took it for asthma. The leaves were wrapped around dough when making bread.
Comments: The common name refers to the wood being used for shingles. Shingle oak is not common in Kansas. It is our only Kansas oak with entire leaf margins. The wood is hard, heavy, coarse-grained, pale reddish-brown with lighter colored sapwood.

Shingle oak flowers
82 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak leaves
70 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak leaves
66 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak bark
152 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak fruit
86 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak fruit
70 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak buds
37 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak
156 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak pistillate flowers
48 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak pistillate flowers
47 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak staminate flowers
98 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Shingle oak staminate flowers
129 KB
Riley County, Kansas