PIN OAK
File Size: 61 KB
 
Quercus palustris  Muenchh.
Harvey County, Kansas
Height: 40-80 feet
Family: Fagaceae - Oak Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Trunks: Straight, diameter 1-2 feet; crown pyramidal or oblong; lower branches drooping, middle branches nearly horizontal, upper branches ascending; bark thick, grayish-brown, smooth or with broad, shallow furrows, ridges flat-topped.
Twigs: Slender, stiff, pin-like, initially dark red, woolly, becoming reddish-brown to grayish-brown, glabrous, shiny; leaf scars half-round; bundle scars 10 or more; terminal bud about 1/8 inch long; lateral buds clustered at tip of twig, egg-shaped or conical, 1/8 to 1/6 inch long, pointed, reddish-brown, glabrous or with few hairs at tip.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, deciduous, leathery, egg-shaped in outline, 2 to 6.4 inches long, 2 to 4.8 inches wide; lobes 5-7, slender, few-toothed, usually tapering at right angles to midrib; apex sometimes expanded, bristle-tipped; sinuses deep, often approaching midrib, wide, rounded; upper surface dark green, glabrous, shiny; lower surface paler, hairs in vein axils; stalk .8 to 2.4 inches long, slender, glabrous; base wedge-shaped to broadly blunt or cut straight across; stipules linear or oblanceolate, 1/4 inch long; unfolding leaves reddish-brown, hairy; in autumn, initially turn scarlet, become brown, often persist on tree during winter.
Flowers: With the leaves, monoecious; staminate catkins 2 to 3 inches long, drooping, loosely-flowered; flowers small, brownish, hairy, sessile or with short pubescent stalk; calyx bell-shaped, 3-5-lobed, tip acute, ciliate; stamens 4-6; anthers yellow; pistillate flowers at base of leaves on new growth, small, spherical, green; stalks short; involucre scales woolly; styles 3, curved outward, green with pink tip; stigmas 3-lobed, flattened, recurved, red.
Fruit: Autumn of second year; acorn, sessile or short-stalked; cup saucer-shaped, shallow, 2/5 to 3/4 inch wide, 1/8 to 1/4 inch high, enclosing only base of nut; cup scales triangular, reddish-brown, closely appressed, pubescent or glabrous, margins dark; nut dome-shaped to egg-shaped, 1/2 to 3/5 inch long, 2/5 to 3/5 inch in diameter, often ridged, light brown, base flattened; kernel bitter.
Habitat: River bottoms on rich moist soil but also may be found on rocky wooded hillsides on poorly drained clay soils.
Distribution: East 1/3 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Native American steeped the inner bark and took the liquid for intestinal pains. Squirrels, blue jays, and wood ducks eat the nuts. Planted as a street and residence ornamental tree. The wood is used for interior finishes, railroad ties, and to make pins and small pegs for fasteners.
Comments: The common name alludes to the short twigs which resemble pin-like spurs. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, coarse-grained, light brown with a thin, darker sapwood. It often has many small knots.

Pin oak staminate flowers
57 KB
Harvey County, Kansas
Pin oak
160 KB
Harvey County, Kansas
Pin oak bark
152 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Pin oak leaf
61 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak leaves
86 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Pin oak staminate flowers
74 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak staminate flowers
66 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak acorn
74 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak acorn
57 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak
119 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak buds
19 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak pistillate flowers
41 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak buds
23 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Pin oak buds
23 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas