Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm)

chinkapin-oak leaves

Click on the images help you identify an Chinkapin oak.



Height can reach 80' to 100' with a diameter of 36" (the average size of Minnesota trees is often smaller than this, however); open-grown trees have short trunks with many branches that form a wide, well-rounded crown; forest-grown trees are tall with narrow crowns.


Thin, light gray; on old trunks it is broken on the surface into thin, loose, silvery white flakes.


Simple, alternate on stem, 4" to 7" long; crowded at the ends of the branches, leaves taper gradually toward the tip and have coarsely pointed teeth; upper surface smooth and yellow green, lower surface pale downy; turns red or brownish orange in autumn.

Fruit (seed)

Stemless or short-stemmed acorn, usually less than 3/4" long; occurs singly or in pairs; enclosed for one-half or less of its length in a rather shallow bowl-shaped cup.


Native to Houston County.

Wood uses

Close-grained, heavy, hard, strong; is not commercially valuable but is sometimes used for railroad ties, construction timbers, and bridge planking.

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