Fagaceae (beech family) Quercus

Quercus palustris pin oak

Eastern United States
Quercus palustris leaves. Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell

In its native habitat, pin oak is a tall deciduous tree used for firewood. The leaves are about 4 inches long with very deeply cut bays between the seven lobes, each of which has a couple of bristles. The leaves are glossy above and paler below and do not all necessarily fall in winter. The acorn is plump, set in a shallow cup and only about ½ inch long.

See two on Lomita Mall near the southwest corner of the Main Quad, three southwest of Crothers Hall on Galvez Mall, and an avenue of more than two dozen on Governor’s Avenue from Elliott Program Center toward Campus Drive West.

Q. palustris here sometimes retains its dead leaves. Often the lower leaves are retained but the upper ones are blown off by the wind. The shape of Q. palustris is thinner (more pin-like) when compared with Q. coccinea, with downward reaching branches, overall more pyramidal. Q. palustris is susceptible to manganese deficiency, and the pair at the south end of Lomita Mall sometimes show this.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings subsequently added the comparisons to scarlet oak and the note on manganese deficiency.