The Pin Oak is an undeniably excellent contestant when scouting for a strong, dependable shade tree…
What distinguishes the lovely Pin Oak?
Thick and lustrous foliage, offering dense shade.
Delightful display of deep scarlet and russet-red fall colors.
Resilience in a variety of soil and weather conditions.
Resistance to major pests.
Fast cultivation and ease of planting.
Keeping up appearances…
Quercus Palustris—what’s commonly known as the Pin Oak—is a pioneering species with a commendable growth rate, with a mature such specimen reaching heights of 50-70 ft. with a spread of approximately 40-60 ft. This tree is prized for its aesthetically pleasing pyramidal shape, quite distinctive in its symmetry in respect to other oak varieties of the Fagaceae family. Most of these trees have a columnar trunk with a distinctive branch arrangement: the upper branches point up, the middle branches stretch out horizontally, and the lowest branches droop towards the earth. Its deciduous canopy flourishes with access to full sunlight, colored a vibrant dark green—except in when transitioning to its warmer fall colors—that pairs well with its gray-brown bark. As is typical of most oak species, the Pin Oak’s flowers emerge as yellow-green catkins in April and May.
A friendly recommendation.
The older the Pin Oak gets, the less tolerant it becomes of shade, and this species therefore often reigns in forests as a dominant or co-dominant tree. Because it produces an abundance of acorns, a Pin Oak will propagate and evolve more quickly than other competing species in heavy wet soils; being allelopathic, it also tends to crowd out other understory vegetation in its fight for survival.
With a 4-8 hardiness zone rating, the Pin Oak is primarily distributed throughout the eastern and central states, ranging from Connecticut to Georgia to Kansas, though it has also been noted to thrive in temperate regions of Canada, Australia, and Argentina. This species is often found in wetlands, primarily floodplains and riverbanks, due to its high preference for medium to wet, well-drained soils.
Awesome tree trivia!
- Monoecious yet self-incompatible, the Pin Oak’s flowers require the presence of another oak—usually Northern Red Oak or Scarlet Oak, if not Pin Oak—to serve as a pollinator.
- This shade tree has an average lifespan of 120 years, though some specimens have been recorded as being several centuries old.
Photos Copyright © Horticopia, Inc. 2017
This Tree's Zone: 4 to 8
Your Growing Zone:
|Fall Foliage||Deep red|
|Bloom Time||April to May|
|Size||50 to 70 feet|
|Spread||40 to 60 feet|